One of the three teenage boys who plead guilty to attacking a same-sex couple on a London bus earlier this year has received a referral order.
On May 30, Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Christine Hannigan were surrounded on the N31 bus by four young men, aged between 15 and 16 years, who tried to pressure the couple into performing sexual acts. When the couple refused, the teenagers proceeded to hurl homophobic slurs, physically attack them, and steal their belongings.
Geymonat posted the following statement on Facebook: “They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions. I don’t remember the whole episode, but the word ‘scissors’ stuck in my mind. It was only them and us there.”
Following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police, four suspected teenagers were arrested on Friday, June 7. The suspects were bailed and later charged on Thursday, July 25.
Three of the suspected young men were due to appear at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, November 28. Before trial proceedings, they pleaded guilty to offences against the Public Order Act, while charges against a fourth teen, aged 17, were dropped.
The Evening Standard reports that the 16 year-old who was sentenced today also pleaded guilty to a second charge of harassment, the theft of Geymonat’s handbag and handling Hannigan’s stolen phone, items which were later recovered.
Andrew Mooney mitigated the 16 year-old’s involvement saying he did not throw coins or make homophobic gestures like the other teens connected to the incident.
The 16 year-old was given an eight month youth referral order, increased from the usual six months due to the homophobic nature of the crime.
He was also fined £100 and ordered to pay a £20 surcharge.
When asked to explain how he could make it up to the people he had hurt, the teenager replied: “Show them that’s not the person I am.”
Last month, the 17 year-old involved in the case received a four-month youth rehabilitation order and supervision.
The 15 year-old boy will be charged on December 23.
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