Richard Kennedy, an 18-year-old gay English teenager, gained the sympathy of thousands of Facebook users when he posted pictures of his bloody face and knee — the results, he said, of a homophobic attack.
“An example why homophobia is wrong and it’s disgusting that it’s still around in 2014,” the theatre student wrote, describing how he was “violently assaulted all because of my sexuality.”
Kennedy claimed that he had been insulted, pushed to the ground, and stomped on by a gang of men outside the Evoque nightclub in Preston.
The “attack” left Kennedy with broken teeth, cuts and bruises on his face, and a knee wound. The graphic photos were shared more than 180,000 times and gained more than 160,000 "likes."
Turns out that Kennedy’s alcohol-induced clumsiness was the real cause of the scrape-up.
Local police were surprised by what they found when looking for more evidence of what they had termed a “particularly nasty assault.”
“We managed to recover some CCTV footage which shows the injured party falling face-first onto the pavement,” said Detective Inspector Paddy O’Neill.
Kennedy saw the images and admitted that the source of his injuries must have been his tumble to the pavement and not any hateful homophobes.
O’Neill decided to be gracious with Kennedy’s mishandling of the incident and will not charge him with wasting police time.
“Having had oversight of the investigation since its inception and taking into account the full circumstances, I accept his report was made in good faith,” the inspector said.