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Gay man told ‘your kind should be burned alive’ on bus and the ‘driver did nothing’

Josh Milton October 14, 2019
Callum Hall was verbally attacked while on an Arriva bus in County Durham, England. (Screen capture via Chronicle Live)

Callum Hall was verbally attacked while on an Arriva bus in County Durham, England. (Screen capture via Chronicle Live)

A gay man in England was told he should be “burned alive” while on a bus back home, and the driver is said to have done absolutely nothing.

Callum Hall, a 22-year-old from Peterlee in Durham, suffered shocking verbal abuse when three passengers boarded the bus and began making threatening comments.

While the incident did not turn violent, Hall said the June attack has left him shaken, he told the Chronicle Live.

What happened?

On his way home from work in Hartlepool, Hall took a call from a friend as he boarded his Arriva-operated bus.

“Three passengers got on and I heard one say ‘you can tell he’s gay’,” Hall told the local paper. “All I could hear was them talking about me.

“One of them said ‘which one?’ and he replied loudly ‘him there, the f*****g faggot with his legs crossed, you can tell he’s a poof.

“My friend on the phone could hear this and he told me I couldn’t just sit there and listen to it so I confronted them and asked them if they had a problem.

“His reply was ‘your kind should dead or burned alive’.”

Callum Hall: ‘I didn’t feel safe on the bus.’

Hall continued: “It’s out of character for me to argue back like that and get pulled into that sort of argument but I had to.

“I went the bus driver to apologise when they got off and he just wasn’t interested.

“I didn’t feel safe on the bus, it could have ended up physical but the driver did nothing.”

An Arriva bus pulls up in front of a H&M store in London. (In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)
An Arriva bus pulls up in front of a H&M store in London. (In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

Hall decided to stand his ground and alerted the bus company Arriva about the attack. The response left him furious.

Bus company offers victim two ‘free tickets’ as compensation. 

Arriva told him that the driver had been spoken to and as compensation was offered two free bus tickets.

Hall said: “I didn’t raise this with them because I wanted free bus tickets, I wanted them to acknowledge the problem.

“I’m an out, confident gay man and, although I was bullied at school, I’ve never experienced that sort of abuse anywhere as an adult.

“The fact this was allowed to happen on an Arriva bus and my concerns weren’t addressed for weeks is shocking.

“Something needs to change so people like me can get on their buses and feel safe.”

Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva, told the paper: “Arriva takes all complaints about our bus services very seriously and is committed to addressing any examples of hate crime or discrimination.

“When we were contacted by Mr Hall in June, we launched a full internal investigation into the incident he reported and apologised to him for the distress he experienced while using our services.”

Hall’s encounter with the homophobes captures an atmosphere of unease among LGBT+ people in England and Wales, where homophobic hate crimes have rocketed, according to data.

Earlier this year, two queer women were physically attacked while on a night bus home in an incident that stunned the LGBT+ community and made international headlines.

More: arriva, England, Homophobia

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