Hate crime victim appeals for help tracing man who fractured his cheekbone

CCTV of a homophobic assault which left a man requiring reconstructive surgery to his cheek has been released by police.

Gordon Maxwell, 42, was confronted by two men outside the Troxy Club in Commercial Road in Tower Hamlets, east London, at 3am on December 3.

He had been attending a themed night and left wearing a white dress, Doc Marten boots and a brown jacket.

The two men were lurking at metal barriers at the club's exit and, as Mr Maxwell passed them, one made a homophobic comment, the Metropolitan Police said.

Suddenly, the other suspect ran at the clubber and swung a fist, hitting him hard in the right-hand side of his face, the footage shows.

Mr Maxwell sought shelter in the club, where he was tended to by door staff.

He was taken to hospital and found to have a fractured cheekbone, which required reconstructive surgery, police said.

No arrests have been made.

Mr Maxwell, from Greenwich, south-east London, said: "I fully believe I was targeted that evening because of my sexuality."

He added: "I cannot feel the right side of my face, including my right side of my nose.

"The surgeons say I may have permanent nerve damage. My mouth and right eye does not open fully and I have lost my sense of smell through one nostril."

Detectives are appealing for information about the attacker captured in the security footage.

He is aged between 19 and 28 and described as being of Asian or black appearance.

The man was wearing a blue puffer-style jacket with the hood up and a silver or white emblem on the left upper arm, dark tracksuit trousers with white lettering on the left leg, and dark trainers with thick white soles, police said.

Mr Maxwell continued: "I did not see the man that punched me - he ran at me from out of the blue, hit me and ran off.

"This incident has had a massive affect on all aspects of my life.

"I am afraid to leave the house and to be at home alone. It has totally shattered my confidence."

He added: "I would like to urge anyone who saw the attack or thinks they know the people involved to come forward as I fully believe they may strike again - they must be stopped and brought to justice."

The second suspect, who made the homophobic remark, is described as a white man, of medium build.

He was wearing a blue coat with the hood up and a white peak coming out of the hood, police said.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the investigation team on 020 7275 4601 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.