A woman with two young children allegedly told a gay couple they were "disgusting" and would "burn in hell" in a sickening homophobic tirade.
The woman also allegedly encouraged one of the youngsters to join in as she hurled abuse at the pair, BirminghamLive reported .
West Midlands Police are treating the incident – which took place in Selly Oak, West Midlands, on May 31 – as a hate crime.
The victims have recalled their traumatic experience and encouraged anyone who witnessed the attack to come forward with information.
The pair, who celebrate their three-year anniversary next week, said the unprovoked incident had left them worried to leave the house.
"Everytime I leave home with my partner I feel like I'm going into battle," said Simon Jenkins, 33.
He and partner Ben Drawer, 21, left Selly Oak railway station at around 7.30pm when they passed a woman with two young children
She allegedly muttered a homophobic slur and continued walking.
When she was challenged, the woman reportedly lashed out and hurled a volley of abuse at them – telling them they were 'disgusting' and would 'burn in hell'.
The couple tried to film the incident on a mobile phone, but when the woman saw she 'slapped' the phone away and grabbed a plank of wood.
The couple ran from the scene and no-one attempted to help or intervene during the attack, they said.
Simon, a university lecturer, said: "Do we really have to live in a world where it's OK for people to make homophobic slurs?
"We met at Selly Oak station after work on that Friday, we both held hands as we walked out across the canal bridge.
"As we were walking I overheard a woman use a homophobic term towards us.
"I challenged her and asked her to repeat what she said, expecting her to deny it or just carry on walking and ignore us.
"Instead, she turned around and screamed at us – she told us we were disgusting and we were going to burn in hell.
"She called us dirty b*******, shouted sexually explicit things at us and made more homophobic remarks.
"She shouted that 'some people think this is OK – but I don't' and threatened to 'knock us across the street'.
"She kept trying to pull my phone out of my hands and eventually smacked it out, then took off her shoe and hit us with it.
"When she picked up a wooden plank and looked as thought she was going to hit us with it, we ran.
"No one stopped to intervene or get involved in any way, despite the presence of numerous bystanders and people driving by.
"But the worst part of the incident was that she had two young girls with her – the eldest was aged around ten and the youngest was around five or six.
"The older girl was even encouraged to join in with the homophobic abuse."
The woman is described as aged in her early 30s and black.
At the time of the incident she wore a black bandana, a blue shirt, cargo jacket and an Africa pendant.
"When we questioned what she initially said, I honestly thought she would deny it but her reaction was instead to explode with rage," Simon added.
"It has put us off going out holding hands.
"Everytime I leave home with my partner I feel like I'm going into battle."
Police confirmed officers were treating the incident as a hate crime and were following 'several lines of enquiry'.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said: "Police are investigating after two men were threatened by a woman as they were walking on a canal bridge on Bristol Road in Selly Oak on May 31, at around 7.40pm.
"The woman made homophobic remarks to the men before threatening them with a plank of wood and chasing them.
"When the woman saw that one of the men was recording her on his phone, she slapped the phone out of his hand.
"The incident has been recorded as a hate crime and a number of lines of enquiry are being followed.
"Anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight, or call 101 anytime quoting 20BW/129161E/19."
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