December 21, 2019

The Teen Perp Who Attacked A Couple of Girls They Would Not Kiss on London Bus, Been Let Off

Melania Geymonat and Christine Hannigan pictured after the homophobic bus attack
 Do You Remember these Girls? They got the perp...No jail

A teenager who attacked a lesbian couple on a night bus because they refused to kiss has been let off with a referral order. Melania Geymonat and Christine Hannigan were surrounded, pelted with coins, punched in the face several times, and subjected to sexual gestures on their way home in Camden, north London in May. The boy, 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted targeting the women at a previous hearing. Today he was sentenced at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior and for stealing Ms. Geymonat’s handbag during the attack. He was sentenced to an eight-month youth referral order, 12 hours’ reparation and ordered to pay £220 in fines and prosecution costs. His sentence was increased from six to eight months due to the homophobic nature of the attack, the court heard. The teen shook his head as the prosecution described the ‘taunting’ and ‘degrading’ attack. Maria Slater, prosecuting, said the teenager refused to answer questions after his arrest. Reading a statement written by Melania, Ms. Slater said: ‘I’m feeling so angry and so upset right now. I’m feeling such a strong pain.’ The prosecutor added: ‘She said she felt hopeless at the time.’

Last month, a 17-year-old boy was sentenced to a four-month youth rehabilitation order for his part in the attack. He will also face a 20-hour reparation requirement, similar to community service, and a two-week curfew and was advised to write a letter of apology to the two women who were attacked. The two teenagers along with a third boy, 15, admitted attacking the women shortly before a scheduled trial. Highbury Corner Youth Court was told last month that the 15-year-old approached the couple who were at the front of the N31 double-decker in north London in the early hours of 30 May. He then made a scissoring gesture towards them with his fingers before the attack. 

The 16-year-old took the handbag as the group fled the bus, the court heard. CCTV footage played in court showed the moment the teenagers targeted the two women. Melania Geymonat was punched in the face and had her handbag stolen (Picture: Metropolitan Police) CCTV captured the couple being surrounded by a group of teenagers on the N31 night bus in the early hours of 30 May (Picture: PA) Speaking after the sentencing today, DC Darren Barlow said: ‘No one should ever be victimized because of their sexuality and I hope that this result brings some form of closure to both victims and they can put this ordeal behind them.’ Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing at TfL, said: ‘This sickening incident was utterly unacceptable. ‘Homophobic abuse is a hate crime and won’t be tolerated on our network. All of our customers have the right to travel without fear of verbal or physical abuse. ‘We hope this case reminds all of our customers that they should accept everyone for who they are and they have absolutely no right to abuse them.’ The 15-year-old will appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court for his sentencing on 23 December.

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