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Two Men Set On Fire At British Gay Bar. Police Don’t Think It Was Hate Crime

Just days after the body of a gay man was found beaten and burned to death in Scotland, two patrons at a gay bar in Leicester, England, were set on fire. Both survived the attack, which took place at the Rainbow and Dove on Charles Street after midnight on Wednesday, but one victim has suffered serious burns to his face and has been placed on a respirator at Nottingham City Hospital. The other received less serious burns to his hands.

Detective Inspector Simon Preston told the Leicester Mercury:

“We are in the very early stages of our investigation, and from initial enquiries we are treating the incident as an assault, but we are looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident and the events leading up to it. Incidents of this nature are extremely rare and we would like to reassure people that we will leave no stone unturned.”

Currently listed as being in stable condition, the two victims, 20 and 22, were doused with an unknown flammable liquid in the pub’s beer garden and then set afire, some time around 12.40am. A 24-year-old man was questioned and released after being ruled out, and authorities are now looking for another man, whose image was caught on CCTV (at left).

Despite the location and nature of the attack, police do not currently believe it was a hate crime.

“At this stage there is no evidence to suggest that this incident was homophobically motivated or that the victims were specifically targeted,” said Inspector Preston, “but we are looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident and the events leading up to it.”

Leicester’s LGBT community is rallying behind both the victims and the bar. A message posted on the Rainbow and Dove Facebook page reads, in part:

A big thank you to everyone for all your messages and support. I knew we had a strong gay community in Leicester but Ive been so touched by the flood of well wishes and support for not only Robert and Russell but also our team of staff that make it happen everyday at Dover Castle, Helsinki and Rainbow & Dove…

I’m back at the Hospital today, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so, if you have any cards or gifts, (Ive already got a bag full which is amazing), I leave at 1pm each day, all you need to do is leave these at the Rainbow & Dove on the back bar and you can be assured that these will be passed on.

Again, thanks so much to everyone for being so supportive and I hope to see you all at our Special Vigil on Friday with Leicestershire Rainbow Voices.


Source: Leicester Mercury

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  • Michael

    The police must either be biased or the dumbest people on earth.

  • EdWoody

    @Michael: Don’t be so hysterical. They just said there’s no evidence yet that it was a homophobic attack, not that it couldn’t possibly be or that they have no intention of finding out if it is or that they’d ignore it if it was. Give them a chance to actually do some investigating before you call them bigots. It could just as easily have been a psycho ex lover getting drama queen revenge on the boy wh gor away and his new trick.

  • missanthrope


    You’re right, I mean people get set on fire all of the time.


  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    Stop wasting time, and go into the Muslim community for your suspects. Those motherfuckers love setting people and things on fire.

  • Trey

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: You are no better than the person who set them on fire talking like that, not all Muslims like setting people on fire.

  • Hyhybt

    There is always the odd possibility that it was something other than a hate crime. For instance, if the attacker had a more ordinary motive against one or both of them personally, making it *look* like a random gay bashing would be one way to try to deflect police attention from yourself.

  • Michael


    LOL my comment was not remotely hysterical you just claimed it was because I think the police are biased which I STILL DO.Believe what you want to believe any morons who call themselves officers of the law who claim something like this is not a HATE crime when it took place at a GAY club is clearly biased and bigoted as well.

  • Riker

    @Michael: They haven’t said it isn’t a hate crime. All they said was that they don’t have any solid evidence that it was. Once they get a suspect and interrogate them, or talk to the victims, they’ll have more information and be able to better understand what happened here.

  • Michael


    Well I agree in that case but either way I hope they find the evidence and bring the one who did this to the justice he deserves.By that I mean justice for the 2 men who he lit on fire .

  • Ruhlmann

    @Trey: You’re correct, some of them like to behead people.

  • JKB

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones:

    But as someone who attacked another who did nothing to them, it could also be a Christian person. You never know.

  • Carl

    Ah, trusty old Queerty and it’s hyperbole. The police are keeping an open mind during these initial stages of the investigation – at the moment there is no evidence that it was a hate crime, but the police have made it clear that if any such evidence comes up it will be considered.

    At the moment, I and many others are treating this as what it currently appears to be – a truly horrific assault on two young men who happened to be gay. Consider this – is every incident where a man hits a woman fuelled by sexism? Is every incident where someone hits a person of another ethnicity fuelled by racism? Until there is EVIDENCE this was a hate crime, it is merely one of many possibilities that the police will and have looked at. Lets not jump the gun and wait for the bloody evidence.

  • Carl

    @Riker: Sadly Riker, it seems opinions like yours and mine are in the minority – not just here, but across the news sites. A lot of people are screaming “homophobic crime!” when at the moment there is no evidence either way. All we have is a crime committed against two men, who happen to be gay. But that seems enough for some people. Maybe we and the police are unusual in wanting some damn evidence before jumping to conclusions.

  • Riker

    @Carl: I’ll condede that a hate crime seems very likely here, but I hate drawing conclusions before we have all the facts (or almost ANY of the facts, for that matter. We don’t know who did it beyond a CCTV picture, which tells us nothing. We don’t know the sexual orientation of the perpetrator, nor if he had any relationship or familiarity with the victims. It could have been a jealous and unhinged ex (as someone mentioned above), a drug deal gone wrong, some sort of personal vendetta, gang violence, or any number of scenarios.

    I think it is reasonable to assume the victims aren’t quite up to talking, being in critical care and all that. Until they do, and the perp is caught, police are doing the right thing in not ruling out any possibilities.

  • ewe

    Very disturbing. The culprits need to be hanged in public. This is the type of case that warrants the victims dictating the punishment. Dispicable.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    At the moment, I and many others are treating this as what it currently appears to be – a truly horrific assault on two young men who happened to be gay.

    Two gay men being attacked by the same person, in the exact same manner is one helluva a coincidence. So much so, that’s it hard to not see this as a targeted hate crime.

  • Carl

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Since the reports indicate they were at the bar together, being friends, that’s a leap of logic without the logic part. It’s an ASSumption. Had they been at two separate bars or attacked individually, I would agree. But they weren’t, they happened to be two friends attacked. There is currently no evidence that it either was or wasn’t. Once again, I find myself saying “Lets wait for the bloody evidence”.

    Further, a man has been arrested in relation to this attack (and another individual has been arrested in relation to the murder in Scotland of a gay barman). From pink news:

    “The 28-year-old man is being held in custody, police said.

    Two men were severely burned in the incident, which happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning at the Rainbow and Dove pub in Charles Street.

    It is thought that a fire was started in the beer garden.

    The victims, aged 22 and 20, remain in hospital. One suffered “life-changing” burn injuries to his face, while the other is being treated for burns to his hands.

    Police say there is no evidence that the attack was motivated by homophobia or that the victims were specifically targeted.

    Officers are still appealing for witnesses to the incident.”

  • Robert in NYC

    We won’t know any more until the victims give detailed information as to the attack or if they knew who the perpetrators were or why they did it. Let’s wait until we have all the information.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Jeffery Dahmer was not an anti-gay killer, he was a serial killer who was gay and his victims were gay.

    The police should not exclude any reasonable possibility based on poor assumptions. Follow the leads.

    Let us hope the police are able to quickly solve this case and get the attempted murderer off the streets before he/she gay/straight kills anyone gay/straight.

  • Mike

    i wished some idiot would try that on me, i’d love to feel the sensation of killing somebody ! of course i’d have to take my heels off first !

Comments are closed.