A gay man bashed to death in London on the weekend was a survivor of the Soho club nail-bombing in 1999.
David Morley, 37, was murdered in the early hours of Saturday morning by a teenage gang near the Royal Festival Hall in central London.
Police said Morley had been sitting on a bench on the South Bank for three hours chatting to an old friend when they were approached by a group of six youths, including two girls. The gang made some brief comments before attacking Morley and his friend and stealing some of their belongings, The Guardian reported.
Morley suffered a ruptured spleen and fractured ribs and died later in hospital. His 29-year-old friend was also injured but survived and has now left hospital.
The gang moved underneath a nearby footbridge and launched a second attack on a group of people, one of whom was a woman and some of whom were French.
Minutes later a third attack occurred in Jubilee Gardens where a man was battered over the head with what he believed was a bottle. All of the attacks happened just after 3am.
In at least two of the three attacks, victims were gay, Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola said. Whilst robbery was clearly a motive, until I can be satisfied the attacks were not homophobic, they will be treated as homophobic.
Five years ago Morley was working behind the bar at the gay pub Admiral Duncan in Soho, in the West End of London, when it was targeted by nail bomber David Copeland. Three people were killed and 73 injured, while Morley escaped with minor burns to his hands. Copeland had already bombed Asian and black targets in London’s Brick Lane and Brixton.
Morley’s friends laid flowers at the spot where he was attacked next to the river Thames, while politicians expressed horror over the incident.
Ben Summerskill from gay rights group Stonewall said: That this happened somewhere like London, generally considered to have a more accepting attitude towards gay people, makes it all the more distressing. That David should survive one incidence of hate crime against London’s gay population only to then be killed in a later attack makes this weekend’s appalling incident even worse.