28/10/2009

Further Arrests Over Liverpool Gay Attack

Six fresh arrests have been made by police investigating a brutal homophobic attack in Merseyside at the weekend.

The six boys bring the total number of teenagers questioned in connection with the serious assault on gay policeman James Parkes to 12.

Mr Parkes, a former community support officer training to become a full constable, was set upon by a gang of up to 20 boys outside a gay bar in Liverpool's city centre on Sunday night.

He had spent the evening at a bar with his partner and two friends.

Six boys aged between 13 and 17 were arrested and later bailed following the attack.

Last night a further five teens aged between 13 and 16 were questioned by detectives and granted bail.

Today a a 15-year-old male was arrested in connection with the assault on Mr Parkes.

The 22-year-old victim remains in a serious condition in hospital after sustaining skull fractures.

According to reports in the Liverpool Echo, Mr Parkes has been able to relay some of the events to his family and the police.

His parents, Ann and Ron, made an emotional appeal for more information, calling on witnesses to come forward.

Recognising the support given by the gay community, the family's statement read: "We are really keen that the young people involved in the attack are caught and brought to justice and would ask anyone who knows anything about the attack to contact the police."

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a vigil organised at the Stanley Street scene on Sunday night.

Police have stepped up visible patrol in the area - known as the city's gay village - in the wake of the attack.

(PR/BMcC)

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