Three teenagers have pleaded guilty to the charges of violently attacking a same-sex couple ahead of court proceedings, whice were due to take place on Thursday, November 28.
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, 28th November. Before trial proceedings, they pleaded guilty to offences against the Public Order Act, while charges against a fourth teen, aged 17, were dropped. Investigating officer, Detective Constable Darren Barlow, said, “No one should ever be victimised because of their sexuality and I hope that this result brings some form of closure to both victims.”
CCTV footage of the attack was released by the Metropolitan police along with news of the three teenagers pleading guilty.
#NoPlaceForHate | "No one should be victimised because of their sexuality"
Three teens have pleaded guilty after a violent homophobic incident on a bus. Following lewd gestures, a fight ensued and the female victims were punched repeatedly in the face
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) November 28, 2019
Superintendent Waheed Khan, the Met’s lead for Hate Crime, stated: “London is such a diverse and tolerant city and I know that the public were rightly outraged that something of this nature could take place in our city. Hate crime affects people from all walks of life, and impacts on communities across London.”
Khan further stated, “The Met does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and is committed to working with partners, including MOPAC, to robustly tackle hate crime. We would urge hate crime victims who have not spoken to police to come forward and tell us about incidents so they can be fully investigated.”
The three young men will be sentenced on Monday, December 23.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.