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25 June 2013, 17:57
Two women in their 20s were subjected to a terrifying homophobic hate attack when they were punched and kicked by a gang of youths in Sunderland.
One of the women was in a chip shop on Burdon Lane when she was approached by the group of around 20 people.
The police said they then started to punch and kick her while shouting abuse.
After fleeing the shop she called her partner, who came to help, but she was also set upon by the gang leaving both victims bruised and shaken.
Sunderland Superintendent Jim Napier, from Northumbria Police, said:
"This must have been a frightening incident for these two victims and I would urge anyone who witnessed it or who has any information about it to contact police.
Hate crime of any nature is not acceptable.
Those who target or commit crimes against people because of their faith, race or sexual orientation, sexual identity or disability will not be tolerated in our communities.
We take any allegations of hate crimes very seriously and are working to bring the offenders to justice.''