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West Hampstead homophobic bus attack: Teen has sentence extended

PUBLISHED: 18:10 19 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:10 19 December 2019

Melania Geymona and her girlfriend after they were both assaulted on the N31 nightbus in Camden in a homophobic attack. Picture: Melania Geymona

Melania Geymona and her girlfriend after they were both assaulted on the N31 nightbus in Camden in a homophobic attack. Picture: Melania Geymona

Archant

A teenager convicted of taking part in the homophobic assault of two women on a Camden night bus has had his sentence extended.

The 16-year-old boy who harassed Melania Geymonat and Christine Hannigan before stealing their handbags on May 30 this year had his youth referral order extended from six months to eight after magistrate Peter Bullet said "it was both a homophobic trigger and the context" for the incident.

Ms Gemonat and Ms Hannigan were subjected to homophobic slurs and gestures by a group of teenagers shortly after 2.15am on May 30 in West Hampstead

They were on the upper desk of the N31 bus.

Three teenagers - aged 15, 16 and 17 - admitted targeting the women shortly before they were due to go on trial last month.

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Appearing at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Thursday, the 16-year-old was given an eight-month youth referral order, increased from six months due to the homophobic nature of the attack.

He was also fined £100 and ordered to pay a £20 surcharge.

Mr Bullet uplifted the sentence due to the homophobic nature of the incident in general.

Mr Bullet said: "By all accounts this was an unpleasant situation with offences committed by a large group in the early hours in a public space against two women on their own.

"It would seem it was both a homophobic trigger and the context for this offending behaviour."

Addressing the court after his sentencing as part of a restorative justice programme, the 16-year-old accepted he had hurt the two victims as well as his own family and friends.

When asked to explain how he could make it up to the people he had hurt, the teenager replied: "Show them that's not the person I am."


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