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Manchester: Homophobic train passenger’s caution branded ‘lenient’

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  1. Agree, it is far too lenient.

    And I think that it is an area of law that needs to be clarified so that people understand it a little more clearly. My first thought was to wonder if the penalty was lenient because they gay men engaged with him.

    This is not a criticism of their standing up for themselves, something that we all have to learn to do because they make us. What I wonder is – in terms of public order offences – does crossing the line to dialogue negate or reduce any claim of “alarm or distress” (I forget the precise wording).

    Defending myself is second nature. I’ve done it many times. What I would like is a clarification – because of this case – of whether that defence actually injures any attempt to prosecute and punish those who break the law.

    To clarify again – this isn’t victim blaming, I get why they stood up strong and applaud them for it. But I don’t understand what, if any, effect it would have on justice and if it explains the leniency.

    1. Exactly right. It’s because they mouthed off back at him.

      If they had acted distressed and distraught, these two poor quiet respectable people who were set upon by this big vicious brute.. Then he would have been dealt with much more harshly.

      British justice works on a kind of relativity like that.

    2. There are also the other passengers in that carriage to consider. Some of them might understandably be distressed at witnessing such a vicious rant and threats of violence.

      I wonder if the additional information is evidence from other passengers or cameras at the station? That might show that the men didn’t start it, and then maybe the perpetrator will be treated more severely when it’s obvious it’s not just an argument or something.

      I think the caution was too lenient. I don’t know about this particular case but I often get the feeling homophobic abuse isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. No wonder it’s under-reported.

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 10 Nov 2012, 9:58am

        I think one of the important aspects of this is that is was a report of the incident by other passengers that led to the conductor being called – from what I recall the conductor states the complaint has been made against the guy.

        I think this ads weight to the case again the perpetrator.

        As I have mentioned on the other thread, I’m surprised he wasn’t charged with an aggravated public order offense.

        The actions by the conductor I do not believe were appropriate either and there seems to be a training issue there also.

        1. “there seems to be a training issue there also”

          Agreed. I got the impression the conductor didn’t really know what to do.

    3. That video of the racist woman on a train made national news. I’m pretty sure she went to prison. Why the discrepancy?

  2. Suddenly Last Bummer 9 Nov 2012, 10:15pm

    We need to find where that thug lives, go round and smash his windows in. Its what Nick Griffin would recommend doing if it were the other way round right?

    1. Patrick Mc Crossan 9 Nov 2012, 11:02pm

      That response is pathetic.

      Why would we stoop to Nick Griffins level/

      If more evidence has come forward then lets see what comes from that.

      Standing up for yourself when being attacked even verbally, but if your intervention makes it continue or worse then you become partially culpable.

      Record what they say report it and let justice work.

      1. Spanner1960 9 Nov 2012, 11:25pm

        You might say that, but had that happened to me, I would have decked the c*nt. I am 6’4″ and 220lbs and not afraid to answer back with physical force if provoked.

        The difference is, bullies like that wouldn’t dare try. They prefer to pick on a couple of young lads that they know won’t fight back.

        1. And a conviction for some degree of assault would have helped how?

          1. Spanner1960 10 Nov 2012, 7:37pm

            I would simply put it down to “just provocation.”
            If this thing were to go to court, it’s pretty obvious who would lose.

    2. Surely you’re not suggesting we base our actions on Nick Griffin’s recommendations?

  3. Some people are homophobic.

    Get over it!

    1. You are a bore.

    2. Some people are racist.

      Get over it!

    3. What I am saying is that homophobes feed on our reactions but hang themselves by their own ignorance.

      We could be here for eternity filling these boards with the same old moaning and continue to consume ourselves with our own negativity unless we change tack and choose instead to laugh in the faces of morons like this.

      Try it and you will find the insults instantly dissipate as the confused provocateur realises he has nothing to react or respond to, except perhaps the realisation of his own stupidity.

      He will then have one of two choices:- skulk away with his head hung in shame, or hang around and laugh with you!

      1. Here’s an example:-

        A homophobe climbs onto a table in a gay bar and starts shouting homophobic obscenities through a megaphone.

        Our reaction is to shout back at him which in turn fuels him to shout louder as he knows his hateful behaviour is hitting home and stirring a reaction.

        But imagine that the crowd laughed at him instead?

        His obscenities would dry up instantly because the only way for negativity to react to laughter is either to join in or exit stage left.

        Homophobia is borne of irrational fear, and positivity extinguishes fear.

        Alternatively just pay no notice to the imbecile so that he is in no doubt that he is peeing in the wind.

        It is our own negative reaction that perpetuates homophobia:- every action causes an equal and opposite reaction, and we need to start choosing the opposite reaction if we are to diminish it’s impact and negative hold over us.

        1. I agree shouting back could escalate the abuse, but laughing at them is risky too. I did that once to a teenage homophobe (simply because he was ridiculous) and after the initial confusion he went for me and shoved me over because he seemed MORE enraged not less. Ignoring them also doesn’t always work because they’ll sometimes get more mouthy and/or physically violent to provoke a reaction.

          Every abusive homophobe should be treated as seems best in the circumstances and with regard to what kind of person they are, if you’re alone, etc etc. There can be no rule about what’s best sadly.

          1. Why is it bleeped out?
            We don’t know what he is saying because it is bleeped out.

            Also I hope they told him they were filming him, as he could bring counter claim for using his image without his consent. Crazy, but true, the civil law is on his side as well.

          2. unless the person was minding his or her own business filming him or her engaging in a criminal activity without his or her explicit consent and making the content of recording public is not criminal in itself

  4. Far too lenient…

    Then again, seems like it’s getting reviewed and hopefully the man is punished properly instead of receiving the pathetic proverbial slap on the wrist.

    Quite right, it should be equated with racism. About time this type of hate crime is taken more serious.

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64bfM38zxfM

    This is the link to the video.
    That bald-headed oaf is from Manchester; the accent gives it away.
    It is my bet that he has been to Blackpool to try to pull; has failed for obvious reasons and…..well, there you go.
    What is the silly old fart doing out so late anyway; and why is he not cuggled up to Mrs Oaf…?

    In combats as well..?
    Who’s he trying to impress?
    Some chav bint…?
    Any chav bint looking at that would do so just the once and collapse laffin’…..like I’m doin’ nowwwww ahahhahahahahhahahahaaa.!!

  6. GAS AS A COOT, that one…!

  7. Or even….GAY AS A COOT….hahahaahahah

  8. the video has mysteriously disappeared from youtube now.

    1. casparthegood 12 Nov 2012, 11:50am

      It’s still there this morning. For the record he should have been prosecuted

  9. A similar thing happened to me the other night when I got on the train home from work – although it was by no means as serious as the horrendous homophobic abuse that these two gentlemen were subjected to. When I got on the train it was very crowded and when it wasn’t until I spoke to say ‘excuse me’ as I went past other passengers in the carriage that they realised I was trans. They started laughing at me and a woman spoke up loudly and said her one-liner: “Did you see that, I thought it was a woman”…Oh, ha, ha, ha, giggle, giggle followed from the other passengers. I hasten to add that these were adult middle-aged commuters – some with children and they weren’t all together but became unified when someone they’ve been brainwashed into thinking as different from themselves suddenly turned up.

    Unfortunately, there’s still a lot more prejudice against LGBTQ people than official statistics would have us believe – and it only takes one or two ringleaders to start it off.

  10. The penal code as related to matters such as these need to be clarified and possibly developed further. As it appears, the perpetrator has been registered with a first offence (of the kind) and punished with a warning. That clearly does not deal with or alleviate the victims’ present suffering and other possible longer term effects.

    1. You are absolutely right, however this seems to be a unique situation that only applies to the legal system of England. In Scotland, there is no such thing as a ‘police caution’. All arrested persons are charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscal regardless of the offence. The police in Scotland (unlike England) have no say in the ‘disposal’ of offences. Had this occurred within Scottish legal jurisdiction, the perpetrator would have been arrested, charged and reported to the Crown. As a ‘hate’ offence that would be regarded as an aggravation under Scots Law and resulted in a much more severe sentence.

      1. In any case it’s still better than before, when you could make matters worse by complaining to the police, because they’d probably join in with the perpetrator in the abuse and no one would bat an eyelid.

  11. Paul from Brighton 10 Nov 2012, 10:29am

    As I replied in the earlier report on this story, I believe the victims should sue the offender.

    It’s easily done. You don’t need a solicitor, but one is advisable. The civil action can be taken in your local county court and you don’t need to prove that this character committed a criminal offence, this has already been proven by the fact that he has accepted an official police caution, which can be cited in any Court of law.

    I’d also sue the train company for a breach of care, and their pathetic response.

    I’d also sue BTP – who are a private police force for their pathetic response.

    Time really to make a stand.

    Remember, if this was a racist incident, it would be treated differently.

    Why?

    Not because society has become in any way more tolerant, but because those who have previously been subjected to racial abuse/hatred etc, won’t let the police or businesses get away with their cavalier, half-hearted approach.

    The time really has come to say enough is enough.

    Sue them.

    1. Suddenly Last Bummer 10 Nov 2012, 11:13am

      Abso-frickin-lutely. Well said.

    2. You are right to suggest BTP are a private police force in the sense that they are paid for by the rail companies. However they are subject to the same legal provisions as any other police force. “Police Cautions” are only available within the English legal system and would not, for instance, apply to Scotland where the perpetrator would have been reported to the Crown.

  12. It was far too lenient! As many of us have already said, if the abuse was of a racist nature, the book would have been thrown at him. Homophobic abuse should be treated the same.

    1. In law, it is- it’s the application of that law that is at fault- the BTP clearly weren’t treating the matter with the proper seriousness.

  13. Oscar Watson 10 Nov 2012, 11:24am

    I thought this was lenient, but a friend explained what a caution actually means and how having it on his record will affect this guy so its not exactly a small deal. I would have had him flogged personally but we’re in the wrong century!

    1. Paul from Brighton 10 Nov 2012, 1:50pm

      Oscar,

      In reality, a police caution means nothing.

      There is no requirement for the person cautioned to cite it to anyone, and, it only lasts for a period of 3 years.

      Despite what’s claimed by those involved in the dispensation of justice, cautions aren’t only given on one occasion. I know of a number of instances where the offender has received multiple cautions, on the basis that they’ve committed different offences to those previously cautioned for.

      Essentially, cautions, while well-meaning in principle, have become a way of the police and government providing justice on the cheap.

      Far better to sit the offender down in front of the police inspector where he’ll be told off, rather than drag him/her before the courts where they’ll still more than likely be told off, but it will cost more.

      1. Thankfully police cautions don’t exist in Scotland.

  14. Lock up the vicious old turd!

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