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Plea to name men who carried out homophobic attack on Oakham woman

Kerry Byrnes, from Oakham, who was assaulted in Oakham on August 17. Photo: MSMP190814-001am EMN-140819-163203001

Kerry Byrnes, from Oakham, who was assaulted in Oakham on August 17. Photo: MSMP190814-001am EMN-140819-163203001

A woman has called on the Oakham community to name the men who left her with a fractured cheekbone in a homophobic attack.

Kerry Byrnes, 23, was walking home from the town centre at about 1.30am on Sunday morning when two men approached her in Burley Road.

They made a homophobic comment and attacked her, pushing her to the floor.

Since the attack, in which she suffered a fractured cheekbone and cuts and bruises to her face, Kerry has been afraid to leave her house. She hopes anyone in Oakham who knows the men who attacked her will identify them to police.

Kerry, a supermarket greengrocer, said: “They need to be named and shamed before they do it to someone else. Next time it could be a lot worse.

“I don’t want anyone to have to go through this. It’s horrible. I haven’t been out since it happened. I’m petrified.”

Kerry has lived in Oakham for six years and has never had any problems with her sexuality, nor has she heard of any other similar attacks.

“I spend all night racking my brains but it’s just not me,” she said. “I’ve got no quarrels with anyone on this. My sexuality has never been a problem. I don’t have names hurled at me down the street.”

Kerry has had plenty of support from friends and family, who have spread word of the attack around Oakham to help find those responsible.

Police are looking at CCTV pictures of the night and have also appealed for witnesses.

Although Kerry didn’t see her attackers fully in the dark street, she saw that both were white, about 5ft 7in tall, with one wearing a hooded top and the other having spiky blond hair.

PC 2226 Mark Barlow from Rutland local police unit is the investigating officer. He said: “This was a nasty assault which resulted in the victim receiving hospital treatment and she has been left badly shaken up.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting crime reference LR/01075/14-9.

 

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