University of Portsmouth vandals scrawl homophobic 'penis eaters' graffiti on LGBT students' flat door

A STUDENT has spoken of his shock and anger after a homophobic slur was daubed on the front door of his flat in University of Portsmouth halls.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 7:16 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 12:55 pm

The vandalism was discovered on the front door of a nine-bed flat in Chaucer House in Isambard Brunel on the morning of Saturday, February 20.

Eggs had been thrown at the front door. It had also been defaced with a red marker scrawling the words ‘penis eaters’ alongside a drawing of male genitalia.

The flat is home to a group that includes four men, three of whom are gay and one who is bisexual.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

One of the students, Liam Sangster, outside Chaucer House halls. Picture: Habibur Rahman

This has left the students concerned that the vandalism was not a random attack.

One of the students, Liam Sangster, who is gay, believes the wording of the graffiti – which appears to target multiple people – shows the perpetrator is familiar with the occupants.

The first year law student said: ‘My personal belief is that it’s a practical joke gone wrong.

‘But it is a hate crime on the surface of it. And if no one owns up to it, how do we know it was supposed to be a joke?

The students' flat door was pelted with eggs - and defaced with homophobic graffiti believed to be aimed at several gay and bisexual occupants. Picture: Liam Sangster

‘Although we were shocked initially, that quickly developed into anger.’

He added: ‘I was letting in a flat mate when I saw what had happened.

‘I was shocked – I said to my flat mates, “we’ve just been egged, can you believe it?”

‘We’ve never had anything happen like has before – never had any trouble from anyone in the block.

Student occupant Liam believes the vandalism could have been attended as a joke - but the students, the police and the university are taking its impact very seriously. Picture: Liam Sangster

‘We tend to get on with everyone. We’ve always had very positive energy from everyone we have spoken to.’

Read More

Read More
Licence granted for new five-star hotel in former Portsmouth museum site

The perpetrators should educate themselves on why the vandalism is ‘a serious issue’, said Hayley Turner-McIntyre, University of Portsmouth Students’ Union welfare officer.

She said: ‘We are disappointed that even in 2021, people in the LGBTQ+ community are subjected to these unnecessary, inappropriate acts of hatred.

‘This type of behaviour has been well-documented to have the potential to have a significant negative impact on the lives and mental health of those it affects.

‘However we are pleased to learn that the students affected have received sufficient support from the University and others around them.’

Now, the police and the university have sent letters to flats across the block appealing for more information, Liam said.

A spokeswoman from the university said: ‘There is no place for hate crime on campus and it will not be tolerated in any form. We will offer our full support to any student or member of staff affected by hate crime.’

Police officers are carrying out enquiries and have been working with the university, a spokeswoman from Hampshire Constabulary said.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news online - as well as fewer adverts, access to our digital edition and mobile app.

Our trial offer starts at just £2 a month for the first two months.