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Four teens deny attacking same-sex couple on London bus

Emma Powys Maurice August 21, 2019
Two women on a bus covered in blood

Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris were left beaten and bloodied on a London night bus. (Facebook)

The four teenagers accused of a ‘homophobically aggravated’ attack on a same-sex couple on a London bus have pleaded not guilty in court.

The group of males – two aged 17, one 16 and one 15 – appeared in Youth Court on Wednesday (August 21).

They are accused of harassing Melania Geymonat, 28, and Christine Hannigan, 29, on a Camden night bus on May 30.

The teens allegedly approached the couple, started making offensive comments and asked them to kiss. When the women refused, they were beaten.

Prosecutor Arlene De Silva told Highbury Corner Youth Court: “This is a case where the Crown says that it is homophobically aggravated.”

The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were accompanied to court by their parents and solicitors. All four pleaded not guilty to the charge of using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour.

The 15-year-old denied the further charge of handling Geymonat’s stolen bank card.

The 16-year-old was also charged with handling the stolen phone and stealing a handbag. He pleaded not guilty to handling the phone, but pleaded guilty to stealing the handbag.

The four boys have been released on police bail and ordered not to contact each other or any witnesses.

The image that shocked the nation

After the attack, Geymonat shared a photograph on Facebook of herself and Hannigan covered in blood.

The image shocked the nation and sparked a conversation about how LGBT+ people often feel unsafe in public.

“For straight men, it was the most significant bit of misogyny they’d ever seen. For queer women it was Tuesday,” said one Twitter user.

Hannigan later wrote that the significant media coverage of the attack was likely due to the fact that she and Geymonat are “white” and “feminine,” while similar crimes against other LGBT+ people often go unreported.

“The commodification and exploitation of my face came at the expense of other victims whose constant persecution apparently does not warrant similar moral outrage,” she said.

“Make the extraordinary reaction to our attack the norm.”

More: homophobic assault, London, UK

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