Words: Steve Brown
A man claims he was a victim of an alleged homophobic attack in a well-known gay cruising spot.
Steve Tasane, 55, claims he was targeted earlier this year by a young man in the area known as Blackheath Dip, on Blackheath Common, London.
After the young man lured Tasane over by asking for a cigarette, four other men gathered behind him, London News Online reported.
Tasane said: “He came right up to me, nose-to-nose. He was about two inches away.
“Then I put my hands up to his chest and he said, ‘Don’t touch me, I’m 22’.”
The other men then started punching him in the back and Tasane said he tried to fight them off and run away but he was knocked to the ground when one of them dropkicked him.
Thankfully he only suffered from a grazed knee but Tasane said other similar incidents in the area led him to believe the attack was fuelled by homophobia.
Last month, police reported a homophobic assault and robbery in Vanbrugh Park Road – next to the common – where a 36-year-old man was strangled until unconscious and beaten before his car was stolen.
This made Tasane report his attack to Lewisham police who said there was insufficient evidence to confirm that the two attacks were linked.
Tasane continued: “It’s made me be wary of being out alone at night and going to any green space at night.
“Blackheath Common is not a space I will be returning to. I feel the right to my local green space has been taken away.”