Man arrested over bottle attack in Birmingham’s Gay Village

A man handed himself in over a suspected homophobic hate crime in which a man was attacked with a bottle in Birmingham city centre

Police have made an arrest over a suspected homophobic hate crime in which a man was attacked with a bottle in Birmingham’s Gay Village.

John-Paul Kesseler was walking along Holloway Circus in the early hours of Sunday morning, October 10, when he was attacked and left with a gash above his eye.

Sign up to our BirminghamWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A 29-year-old man surrendered to West Midlands Police on Thursday (21 October) and has been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

An investigation was launched following the incident and CCTV was analysed and the suspect was identified.

Since then officers made several arrest attempts at addresses linked to the man and carried out other enquiries in a bid to track him down.

The man handed himself in just before 11.30am.

Birmingham Police Superintendent James Littlehales said: “This was a really nasty attack with a weapon and one which we believe was motivated by hate.

“Hate crime and keeping people safe in our nightlife centres are priorities for us.

“Everyone should feel safe and comfortable to be who they are, we will not tolerate anyone being targeted in this way.

“This sort of offence is totally unacceptable and offenders must understand we take it extremely seriously and that they face time in prison.”

Rise in homophobic attacks

The arrest comes after a rise in violent homophobic attacks in Birmingham city centre in recent months.

A couple in their 30s were attacked outside Missing Bar in August when homophobic abuse was shouted at them before they were assaulted with bottles.

Lawrence Barton, the director of Birmingham Pride, said a man was also attacked on Hurst Street a few weeks ago.

West Midlands police said that officers are investigating other homophobic hate crimes and are “determined to get justice for victims”.

West Midlands police’s LGBTQI+ officer, PC Kennedy, will also be hosting a pop-up police station on Hurst Street tonight (Friday October 22) and tomorrow night from 7.30pm to discuss hate crime.

A solidarity protest took place last week in Birmingham’s Gay Village

Solidarity protest to take place

Following the recent attacks, a solidarity with the LGBT+ community will take place outside the Birmingham LGBT Centre on Holloway Circus this Sunday.

In a post on Facebook, the organisers said: “You may bring flags, banners, posters, placards, colour and pride. Let’s stand united for peace, united against hate.”

The event takes place at 1pm.

This will be the second protest to go ahead after hundreds gathered in Birmignham’s Gay Quarter last Friday, October 15, to demonstrate against violence towards the LGBT+ community.

A solidarity protest took place last week in Birmingham’s Gay Village

One of the organisers of the event, Salman Mirza, said: “We had a protest on Friday and a lot of people said they wanted to come if we did another one.

“We are going to gather the people and the more more we’ve done these protests the more people have come, and we want people to have the confidence to come forward and highlight what’s going on.

“Emotionally it’s needed because I’ve had quite a few people contact me to say ‘i’m so glad that you’ve done this’ and now we’re beginning to have meetings and talk about more security, so it’s encouraging people behind the scenes to pick this up.”=

Galop is a national LGBT+ anti-abuse charity who support people who have suffered homophobia, transphobia and other forms of abuse. You can find more about the support available here.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.