VICTORIA Police are searching for four teenager boys who were involved in the homophobic attack of a man in Melbourne’s south east in January.

The 32-year-old man, Danny Levi Bryce-Maurice, was confronted by the four young men when using the public toilets at St Kilda Botanical Gardens.

The group of men allegedly hurled homophobic insults at Bryce-Maurice and punched him before he escaped back to his friends.

Bryce-Maurice and his friends then returned to the toilet block to confront the attackers where he was kicked and punched by the two remaining teenagers.

He suffered a broken nose and heavy bruising from the attack and was hospitalised as a result.

The police have released a composite image of one of the young men believed to have been involved in the homophobia-fuelled attack.

victoria police

Facial composite of the first offender. Image via Victoria Police.

The image released is of the first offender, described as a 19-year-old male, about 172cm tall, with a Caucasian appearance and sandy shoulder-length hair.

“We ask anyone who witnesses, or is subject to discrimination or victimisation on the basis of sexuality or gender identity to inform police immediately,” Victoria Police said in a statement.

“Every Victorian has the right to feel safe and secure in the community and Victoria Police will not tolerate any attempts to incite hatred or violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The attack came days before a homophobic sticker inciting violence against gay men was posted around nearby South Yarra over the Australia Day weekend.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

Members of the LGBTI community can also contact an LGBTI liaison officer (GLLO) for support in reporting a crime. Head here for a list of current GLLO contacts.

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