Man threatened to burn lesbian couple’s house down with their kids inside
A Gateshead man has been found guilty of threatening behaviour – after telling a lesbian couple he would burn down their home with their kids inside.
Magistrates heard that 36-year-old Barry Sharkey raged at a couple in a roadside incident last year, jumping in front of their car and shouting at them.
According to prosecutor John McGlone, he spouted homophobic abuse at the pair – while their 12-year-old daughter was inside the car.
The Sunderland Echo reports that Sharkey’s ex-partner had a dispute with one of the victims at the time.
The court heard that he told the pair: “I’m going to get my mates and your home is going up with your kids in it.”
Mr McGlone added: “She was shocked and shaken by the homophobic comments, especially as her 12-year-old daughter was in the car. This is a matter of homophobic crime.”
A victim statement from the driver said she had suffered panic attacks since, adding: “The incident has affected me more as my daughter was in the car.”
Sharkey denied the charges but failed to attend the trial, and was found guilty in absentia.
He was told to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £60, and sentenced to a community order with a three-month curfew.
Four indefinite restraining orders were also put in place.
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