Ryan Winnard, 21 was walking with his boyfriend Max Green, 18 when a group of men approached them hurling homophobic abuse at them, and then assaulted them
A gay couple were attacked by a group of men in balaclavas while walking down the street holding hands.
Ryan Winnard, 21 and his boyfriend Max Green, 18 were walking on Coronation Road in Radcliffe, Bury on Tuesday evening when they were assaulted.
The couple say they were subjected to vile homophobic slurs as they held hands.
As they tried to walk away from the situation, the men began attacking the couple.
Ryan was punched and attacked with a hammer which left him with a broken nose and a fractured cheek bone and Max was hit on his head, which caused a deep abrasion.
Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Ryan said: “Me and my boyfriend were heading home from his grandparents and as we were walking we could hear a group of lads.
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“We were holding hands and they started shouting over at us calling us f****** and gay boys.
“We carried on walking as we had no intention of starting any confrontation with them.
“Before we knew it, there were around five to six lads dressed in balaclavas and gloves running at us.
“They started attacking us, punching and kicking us, and were hitting me in the knees with a hammer.”
A number of items, including a mobile phone and bank cards, were stolen.
“I can remember hearing them telling Max to empty his pockets and to give them everything he had, they then all came to me and beat me up for my Canada Goose coat,” Ryan, from Salford, said.
“They then took my phone, bag, shoes, bank cards, keys – all of my belongings.”
Ryan said he called police shortly afterwards, but says it was more than two hours until emergency services responded to the report.
“I rang the ambulance and police and waited for around more than two hours,” he explains.
“It’s one of those things where we could have been laying on the floor unable to get up.
“They’ve been really good but when we needed them, they weren’t there.”
Ryan says he and Max now feel they won’t be able to hold hands in public again.
“I don’t think I’ll ever, ever walk around Radcliffe again. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hold my partner’s hand in the street again,” he said.
“I should be able to walk around and hold my boyfriend’s hand without fear of something like this happening. It’s one of those things that you never think would ever happen to you but now it has.”
Ryan shared the details on social media and said he had been ‘overwhelmed’ with the response.
“My mum was heartbroken when she found out it happened,” he added.
“I’ve been overwhelmed with the support we’ve received from everyone. Everyone’s just trying to be there for us.”
Greater Manchester Police confirmed they received reports of a robbery on Coronation Street, Radcliffe at around 8.25pm on Tuesday evening.
A police spokesperson said: “Enquiries established that a group of around five to six people, wearing balaclavas, approached two males before assaulting them and stealing property from them including a phone.
“The men were also subject to verbal abuse from the group.
“No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.