Four teenagers due in court over ‘violent homophobic attack’ on same-sex couple that shocked the world
Four teenage boys are set to go on trial accused of targeting two queer women in a suspected homophobic and misogynistic attack that shocked the UK.
Authorities arrested the teens shortly after the attack on suspicion of robbery and aggravated grievous bodily harm, the Evening Standard reported.
Earlier this year, a photograph of a couple covered in blood, their faces visibly distressed, leapt onto headlines and front-pages across the world.
Their names were Melania Geymonat and Christine Hannigan.
On a Camden-bound double-decker bus in the early morning, boys hurled lewd comments and chucked coins at them before punching and allegedly robbing them.
Chris was left with a broken jaw and battered nose. Geymonat, who is bisexual, was punched so forcefully her nose shattered.
Asking a sympathetic passenger to take a photo of them, they were both hospitalised afterwards.
Lawmakers, celebrities, activists and the public alike condemned the attack in what became a stark reminder of the surging rates of anti-LGBT+ crime in the capital.
What were the teens charged with?
The boys, two aged 17, one aged 16 and another 15, were all charged with aggravated hate crime under the Public Order Act in July for the alleged homophobic attack.
As well as the Public Order offence, the 15 and 16-year-olds face an additional charge of handling stolen goods.
The 16-year-old was also charged with theft from another, and one 17-year-old denied possession of cannabis.
Moreover, the four teens are anticipated to appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court on Thursday, the first day of a two-day trial.
Courts are expected to hear evidence from the victims alongside the bus driver.
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In July, the four teens denied harassing the couple, The Independent reported.
Anti-LGBT+ hate crimes have rocketed.
The attack on the couple became the apex of a soaring spate of violence against LGBT+ citizens, shocking statics have showed.
More than 11,500 reported hate crimes in England and Wales in 2017-18. This is a 27 per cent increase on the previous year, which officials attribute to more people coming forward as victims of crime.
In London, homophobic hate crime has been on the rise since the start of the year.
There were 243 reported incidents in April 2019, the highest number since July 2018.