Innocent trans woman targeted with vile transphobic abuse in airport wins compensation from attacker
A man has been ordered to pay compensation to a trans woman he verbally abused at Gatwick Airport in February this year.
Simon Elgy, 37, from Hammersmith in London, appeared Worthing Magistrates’ Court earlier this month and pled guilty to causing harassment, alarm or distress.
The court heard how he shouted abuse at the woman in the South Terminal of Gatwick Airport because she was trans.
It was noted that the offence had been “aggravated due to hostility towards persons who are transgender”.
Magistrate Andy Tonks ordered Elgy to pay £400 in compensation to the woman over the incident, as well as £85 in court costs.
The incident reflects the sharp spike in transgender hate crime in the UK, which ranges from physical attacks, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse, insults or online abuse using social media.
Reports of such anti-trans hate crimes have risen by a shocking 37 per cent in the past year.
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There were more than 2,300 reports of hate crimes against transgender people in England and Wales from April 2018 to March 2019, up from just over 1,700 in 2017/2018.
Overall, transphobic hate crime reports have quadrupled since 2014/15, when just 607 such crimes were recorded.
Although some increase in hate crime reports is to be expected due to improved reporting practices, the sharp rise contrasts with data for other protected characteristics.
Official Home Office data confirms that hate crimes against transgender people in England and Wales are growing at a faster rate than for any other protected group.
There was also a 25 per cent rise in hate crimes based on sexual orientation, a 14 per cent rise in disability-based hate crimes, an 11 per cent rise in hate crimes based on race, and a three per cent rise in hate crimes based on religion.
Of the transphobic hate crime reports, 27 per cent were for violent offences, 24 per cent were for stalking and harassment and 39 per cent were for other public order offences.