Police in east London have released an e-fit of suspects following two homophobic attacks in under a month which they believe may have been committed by the same people. The first assault happened on 8 October and involved a 47-year-old man who was walking along the High Street with his husband after a night out in Walthamstow Village.
The couple was approached by a man who asked them if he could take a picture of them, and then asked if they were gay. The two men walked away, but the suspect then grabbed hold of the victim and said "you are not welcome" and grappled with him.
The victim was then pulled away by his husband before they walked away and called police. The victim was not injured in the incident.
Four weeks later on 4 November, a second victim, a 31-year-old man, was walking along Hoe Street, with two friends when they were approached by three men who were unknown to them.
One of them punched the victim in the face and shouted homophobic abuse at him. The punch caused the victim to fall to the floor and the attacker made off.
The victim suffered a black eye and cuts and bruises but did not require hospital treatment. The victims, who were both left extremely shaken after the incidents, provided detailed descriptions of the attacker from which the two e-fits were produced.
Based on these descriptions and the locations where the assaults happened, officers have not ruled out the possibility that the attacks may well have been carried out by the same man.