Gay students targeted again in attack at Coven

first_imgThree Oxford students were victims of what is thought to have been a homophobic attack outside Coven II last Friday. The incident is the second triple attack in the past two terms, with gay clubbers fearing that the nightclub is unable to cope with homophoic violence in the area. The students, all in their second year, were returning home from the night club via a nearby car park when they were set upon by three men. One student from Brasenose, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “We left the club around quarter to three. The route we take passes a car park, which we cut through to get to Norfolk Street. We didn’t notice these guys until they were right up next to us. There was no provocation, they didn’t even say anything. I got grabbed by the shoulder and they hit me square in the face.”“They didn’t even say anything. I pushed one of them away and called the police. They didn’t make any effort to get out quickly, or flee the scene.” A second student, from Wadham, was hit in the back of the head and a third from Keble was kicked in the stomach.  All sustained injuries as a result of the attack. One student said, “I spoke to the police on the phone and told them that this area is renown for homophobic attacks, and that we could see the men heading off in the direction of the club. I’m aware that violence of this sort is happens in all cities but what disturbs me is that I can be attacked for something that is inherent and unchangeable about me.” Last term, three male St Peter’s students were beaten up near the club, which is located on Oxpens Road near the Oxford Ice Rink.The three students reported the attack to Thames Valley Police the following day, who will use CCTV footage to try and identify the perpetrators. A spokesperson said that the attack was being investigated as an act of violence rather than specifically homophobic, due to the lack of verbal exchange.   However, the Brasenose student said, “I fundamentally believe that it was a homophobic attack.”He added, “I’d like to see clubs taking more responsibility for their punters when they’re leaving. Given that Coven II’s clientele is majority queer on a Friday night, keeping an eye out would be no bad thing.”“It’s essentially a problem of education. You can put a massive police presence in the area but eventually the problem will just move elsewhere.”last_img

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