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Cracking Crime Sunday, 15 September, 2002, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
'Mugged by a gang of children'
Graham Munday was viciously assaulted in Brighton for 'being gay'
Graham Munday was viciously assaulted for 'being gay'
BBC News Online's Marcus George

In the third of a series of profiles for the BBC's Cracking Crime day, Marcus George speaks to a victim of crime in Brighton.
They were a gang of about fourteen. As four of them rained down kicks and punches to his head and body, the rest of the mob stood shouting and jeering.

He was a gay man living in Brighton on his way to meet friends for a night out.

Screaming "batty boy" they threw bottles at him which exploded on impact with the ground, casting glass everywhere.

Nearly six months after the traumatic experience Graham Munday described how he was left a "bloody mess" after the vicious onslaught.

But his attackers were no hardened muggers.

They were a gang of children who had been drinking alcohol before launching into a homophobic attack on Graham and his partner Jeff just 200 yards from his home.

Jeff escaped and alerted the police.

The attack was reported in Brighton local paper, the Argus
The attack was reported in Brighton's Argus
But by the time Graham staggered to the nearest front door shouting for help, he had suffered a broken nose, two black eyes and a myriad of cuts and bruises all over his body.

"I had blood running down my face and it was all over my clothes and hands."

"Had the door not opened, the attack would have continued and it would have been a lot worse," Graham adds.

In shock

Like most victims, the 32-year-old experienced a number of emotions after the attack.

Hysteria, tears, confusion and frustration beset him for weeks, finally giving way to anger that no-one was ever arrested for the crime.

Police investigations led little further than suspicions over the main culprits.


I feel hateful towards them, but violence is not the answer

Graham Munday
But Graham still searches for answers.

"I couldn't understand why they attacked me," staring at the floor as if a clue may be found there.

"I feel hateful towards them, but violence is not the answer," indicating that society and lack of education may be at fault.

"Times have changed and children need better sexual education. And their parents need to be responsible.

"But if the parents of these kids were responsible why were they out late at night drinking alcohol?"

'More policing'

Despite his suffering he is a strong advocate of meetings between victims and offenders.

The neighbourhood where Graham was mugged
The neighbourhood where Graham was mugged
"This might make them fully understand how much upset this caused for me, my family and friends."

Graham sees more community police officers and a greater role for technology in the endless fight against crime.

But he fears nothing will improve without a massive increase from tax payers.

Being attacked over his sexuality by juvenile thugs was the last thing he expected in the town known as the gay capital of Europe.

In a separate incident one month later, a gay man was lucky to survive after being stabbed in the hand and stomach.

His attackers were also teenagers.

Yet Graham is philosophical and is determined not to remain a victim.

He is most visibly relieved as he tells me that his broken nose is still straight.

Such things are important for a man working part-time in acting and modelling.

He reels off a number of programme he has featured in, including The Bill and EastEnders.

"I've had a pint in the Old Vic before," he say with an enormous smile. And he's plainly hopeful he will do so again, he hints with a smirk.

"If I don't get mugged again, that is."


Profiles

Background stories

Analysis
See also:

13 Sep 02 | Cracking Crime
Governor fears return to overcrowded prisons
07 Mar 02 | UK News
A victim's family speaks out
19 Feb 02 | UK News
Crime victims 'ignored by system'
06 Sep 02 | England
Inmates watching 'too many videos'
Internet links:


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