A GAY couple were brutally beaten in the street during a vicious homophobic attack at the hands of hooded youths.
Jamie Edwards, 33, and partner Damian Hampton, 26, were left battered and bruised after the trio of yobs donning hoodies pounced on them from behind.
The teenagers targeted the unsuspecting couple outside a shop in Southampton, Hants – hurling homophobic abuse before launching into their four-minute onslaught.
They were violently punched to the ground and kicked in the head.
Both men were left helpless as they were followed from the shop before being punched from behind and "booted in the face".
They were left with bruising to their arms, legs and ribs, along with cuts and grazes to their hands.
The couple now fear they will suffer another homophobic attack and have since vowed to never "walk to that shop again".
Jamie said: "It happened so fast, within seconds they had caught up and punched Damian in the face.
"They ripped my clothes and wouldn't stop kicking us while we were on the ground.
"We had never even seen or spoke to them before, it was a totally unprovoked and unexpected attack.
"It's more of a pride thing, I had to watch my boyfriend being booted on the floor and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it."
Painter and decorator Jamie has also been forced to take time off work as he recovers from the terrifying attack.
Officers from Hampshire Police confirmed the incident is being treated as a hate crime.
A force spokesperson said: "We are investigating an assault which took place near the One Stop shop in North East Road, Sholing at around 3.45pm on December 4.
"Anyone with information, or who witnessed this incident, is asked to contact police on 101, quoting the reference number 44190436605."
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