A man who was forced to apologise for being gay in a homophobic hate crime on the Tube has spoken out about his experiences ahead of Pride.
Will Mayrick was attacked on a London Underground train in October 2017 by two teenagers, who grabbed him in a chokehold and forced him to apologise for being gay.
The two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were spared jail in May and were ordered to pay £150 compensation each to the victim, in addition to £20 each in costs.
They were also both handed 12-month referral orders to a youth offender programme.
Today the 20-year-old told the BBC : “I don’t feel that justice was served.
I don’t feel it sets a very good example that homophobia completely isn’t acceptable, but that’s obviously what the court decided.”
However, he says he is not going to apologise for his identity ahead of Pride.
“There are times when you do get nervous or you’re a bit concerned when you’re on public transport, but I still do feel safe in London,” he added.
“I’m not going to let it completely change the way I am because that’s letting other people win. I’m still a proud gay man and I’m not going to change in that way.”
Dave Stringer, of the Metropolitan Police, said: “We do practise patrols in any areas that we think there might be people looking to abuse people homophobically.
“We have specially trained officers, hate crime liaison officers – our main objective is to increase reporting from the LGBT community.”
A BBC analysis of Met Police figures also shows that incidents of reported homophobic hate crime have nearly doubled since 2014, from 1,109 to 2,049 in 2017.
However, London is still considered to be one of the safest world cities in which to be LGBT.