Man set alight in 'gay hate' attack in church grounds

Man set alight in 'gay hate' attack in church grounds

A man has been set on fire in what police are describing as a homophobic hate crime.

The 20-year-old victim was walking through the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stockton-on-Tees when he was approached by a group of four men and questioned about his sexuality.

He ignored them and kept walking, but one of the men approached him from behind, sprayed an aerosol at his legs and then set him alight.

Cleveland Police said the victim attended North Tees University Hospital, where he was treated for serious burns, which required skin grafts.

Officers are appealing for information about the incident, which happened at 3am on Wednesday.

A police statement said: "The man who lit the aerosol is described as white, in his early 20s, medium build, with short blond hair. He was bare-chested and wearing jogging bottoms.

"Officers are treating this as a homophobic hate crime."


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