Police have released images of five men they wish to speak to in connection with a 'homophobic' assault which saw a sleeping gay couple beaten in a vicious attack .
Images of four men taken on February 15 on board the Reading to London Paddington service have been released and Metropolitan Police officers have asked people to help identify them.
An Ealing officer said: "Do you recognise these men? We would like to speak to them in connection with an assault which is thought to have been motivated by homophobia."
Investigating officer, PC Peter Taylor, said: "This was a very nasty assault committed by a group of men who attacked two other men while they were sleeping on the train.
"The victims believe the motivation for the attack was that the offenders thought they were gay.
"Hate crime such as this will absolutely not be tolerated by British Transport Police.
"I would like to speak to anyone who recognises the men shown in the CCTV images as they may have information which could help with the investigation."
Victim pleaded to 'leave them alone' before being punched
Phil Poole said him and his partner, Zbynek Zatloukal, were assaulted and hurled with anti-gay abuse on their way back from their Valentine's Day date.
The pair, who have been dating since November last year, had been out for dinner in Reading but fell asleep and missed their stop in Maidenhead on Valentine's Day (February 14).
Mr Zatloukal, from Czech Republic, was awoken by a gang abusing him as they were near Ealing at around 1.05am before he asked: "Please just leave us alone."
But the vicious group began punching him before attacking his boyfriend, who had been sleeping on his shoulder.
Mr Poole, an ice-skating coach and personal trainer from Maidenhead, said: "He (Mr Zatloukal) said 'please just leave us alone' and before we knew it he was punched in the face and had blood everywhere.
"I had woken up and they started punching me in the face, I had not said anything."
The 35-year-old lost two teeth in the attack before putting them in his pocket and staggering over to another seat.
But the thugs were said to have followed him to the seat and prolonged the attack, and the teeth fell out of his pocket.
To his horror, he then saw the gang kicking Mr Zatloukal, a chef, while he was on the floor.
Witnesses then called the police before the gang ran off at Ealing Broadway station, where the couple got off and were taken to hospital by ambulance.
If you recognise them or have any other information about the incident, please contact the Met by calling 0800 40 50 40 or text information to 61016 quoting reference number 30 15/2/17.
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