Gay clubber 'blinded' by bleach as women hurl homophobic abuse

Published: June 9, 2014

A man fears he has been blinded after ammonia was sprayed in his face in a ‘homophobic’ attack involving two women outside a popular gay nightclub.

The 23 year-old is thought to have been hit with bleach in the hate crime involving two woman and a male assailant.

He and a male friend, 21, had struck up a conversation with the trio outside the club after being refused entry because it was past closing time.

But the women, thought to be Eastern European, began hurling abuse at the pair when they discovered they were gay.

The older victim said: "As we walked away I heard a man shout ‘Oi! Come here.’ At first I thought it was the doorman saying he’d changed his mind and we could go in.

"Then I saw this white guy with a beard, and his hand coming up with a water bottle that he squirted really hard into my face.

"It went right in my eyes and it sprayed into my friend’s mouth.

"My face was burning so much, I thought it was acid. I thought I would never see again and my face was melting.

"He poured every last drop onto us and then turned around and walked away, like it was mission accomplished.

"The chemical burnt the cornea in my left eye and the vision hasn’t cleared since. The doctors said it should hopefully return but there is no guarantee.

"My friend’s tongue was swollen and it looked like someone had scratched part of it away. It was horrible. "

Police are treating the attack at the Lightbox nightclub in Vauxhall, South London, as a homophobic hate crime because of comments made during the argument.

The victim added: "I feel this was a hate crime given where we were and the situation with the two girls.

"What’s playing on my mind is the fact that this guy has left his flat and thought ‘wallet, keys, bottle of bleach.’

"The guy has gone out with the intention of blinding someone."

It later emerged that a third man had been hit in another random acid attack inside the venue earlier in the evening on Sunday.

All three men were treated at hospital.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: "Detectives have issued CCTV stills of a man and two women they wish to trace after three men were sprayed with a substance, thought to be ammonia, in the early hours of Sunday, 8 June.

"Following comments made during the exchange, this incident is being treated as a homophobic hate crime.

"A short time later, police were made aware of a third man who had also been sprayed in the face with a substance in the vicinity of the nightclub.

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