Man attacked by fellow passengers on train from Dublin to Belfast
A man in his 50s has told of how he was physically attacked on the Dublin to Belfast train on Saturday night after two passengers learned that he was a homosexual.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has appealed for witnesses to what appears to have been an unprovoked assault.
The injured man was treated in hospital in Portadown following the attack in which he sustained a broken nose and head injuries. He was discharged from hospital on Sunday.
Yesterday, the man – who declined to be publicly identified – expressed his shock at the attack.
“It’s not something you expect would happen in this day and age. I’m still in shock over what happened. I think it will take a few days for it to sink in with me,” he told The Irish Times.
The Dublin man – who has Asperger’s syndrome, an autistic spectrum disorder – said he had been on the 20.50 train from Dublin and was sitting in a near-empty carriage on his own using his laptop.
When he returned from the toilet about an hour into the journey, he found two men looking at his computer. He had earlier been browsing an internet dating website for gay men, which was on the screen.
“They started accusing me of being a pervert,” he said. “I tried to get my laptop from them and they chased me into another carriage where they started beating me. I was screaming for assistance and covered in blood.”
There was a small number of passengers in the carriage, he said, but no one intervened.
He believes his attackers got on the train at Newry and ran off the train at the next stop, Portadown.
After the police were called, the man was taken to hospital for treatment at Portadown.
He said he wished to thank the PSNI for their professionalism and courtesy, and hoped the perpetrators would be caught. He said the police plan to examine CCTV footage.
His attackers also stole some of his possessions he said, including an iPod and a pair of headphones. “I hope there is footage so they can track down who was responsible . . . We all have a right to feel safe when we travel on public transport. I never thought for a second that anything like this could happen nowadays,” he said.