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Crime

15-year-old ordered to attend diversity training after homophobic London bus attack

Nick Duffy December 23, 2019
London bus attack Two women on a London bus covered in blood after alleged homophobic attack

The same-sex couple who were beaten on a London bus for refusing to kiss and perform sex acts. (Facebook)

A 15-year-old convicted over an attack on a same-sex couple on a London bus has been ordered to attend diversity training.

The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was handed a youth referral order at Highbury Corner Youth Court on Monday.

The boy admitted using threatening or abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress over the attack on Melania Geymonat and Christine Hannigan in May.

The eight-month referral order, increased from six months due to the homophobic nature of the crime, requires the teen to attend diversity training and do work on hate crime.

Judge orders ‘diversity sessions’ for teen

According to the BBC, District Judge Nicholas Rimmer said: “You need the close supervision of the youth offending service to think carefully about your behaviour.

“This will include diversity sessions which will make you think about hate crime, the protected characteristics and minority groups.”

London bus attack. A group of teens loom over a same-sex couple in London before striking them. (Metropolitan Police)
A group of teens targeted Melania Geymonat and Christine Hannigan in the London bus attack. (Metropolitan Police)

He told the teen: “The court very strongly disapproves of the sort of behaviour you exhibited in May 30.

“They were in a relationship, they were happy, they were simply enjoying the pleasures of life and being in love.

“They were met with disgusting and degrading behaviour and you should feel thoroughly ashamed of your conduct.”

Teens assaulted same-sex couple after they refused to kiss

Two other teens, aged 16 and 17, have both also admitted offences.

The teens surrounded the couple, threw coins at them and asked them to kiss and perform a sex act.

When they refused, the boys attacked them.  Pictures of the two women covered in blood made front pages worldwide, and three boys were later charged.

CCTV footage shown in court captured the moment that the two women were attacked. One boy can clearly be seen making lewd “scissoring” gestures at the women before launching at them with a barrage of kicks and punches.

Last week, the 16-year-old pleaded guilty to a second charge of harassment, theft and handling stolen goods.

He admitted that he had stolen Geymonat’s handbag and handled Hannigan’s stolen phone, although both were later recovered.

The 16-year-old  was also handed an eight-month community sentence. Custodial sentences are not routinely considered for first offences in youth courts.

The 17-year-old is yet to be sentenced.

More: bus attack, London

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