Police have called off an investigation into an alleged homophobic assault in the city centre, after finding the victim had fallen over.
An 18-year-old man from Blackpool suffered serious facial injuries following a night out in the city centre.
He reported to Lancashire Police he had been assaulted in the early hours of Wednesday 26 February.
Detective Inspector Paddy O’Neill said: “We managed to recover some CCTV footage which shows the injured party falling face-first onto the pavement. We have showed him the CCTV and he now accepts his injuries were caused during the fall.
“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 investigation into this matter is indicative of the lengths we will go to when investigating reports of violent crime in the city. We believe assaults, and hate crime assaults in particular, are under-reported in the city for many reasons.
“Lancashire Constabulary is committed to ensuring that all forms of hate crime are investigated thoroughly; any reports made to the police will be taken seriously. I am conscious that the initial reports into this incident will have been very upsetting for a number of people, and Preston city centre was portrayed in a very negative light. Thankfully, there was no homophobic assault or any other assault on this occasion.”
The appeal to trace an attacker had been widely spread on social media.