Eastbourne hate crime hammer threat to men

Two men have been threatened with a hammer in a homophobic incident in Eastbourne, Sussex Police have said.

The pair were near the Wish Tower Slopes in the early hours on Tuesday when they were approached by two men, officers said.

One threatened them and made derogatory remarks about their sexuality before punching one of them.

Sussex Police said the suspects demanded cash and mobile phones but the victims managed to get away.

Det Sgt Jo Benton said: "This was a very scary incident for these two men but luckily they were not seriously injured."

Insp Rachel Barrow said the force wanted to encourage the reporting of hate crime and to make people realise that shouting at or abusing someone because of their sexual orientation or gender was not acceptable.

She said it was important that anyone who felt threatened by someone's behaviour immediately contacted police.

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