West Hampstead homophobic bus attack: Three boys admit threatening women who refused to perform sex act
PUBLISHED: 15:14 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:15 29 November 2019
Three teenage boys have admitted threatening two women on the N31 bus after they refused to perform a sex act.
Melania Geymonat, 28, and her girlfriend Christine Hannigan were on the upper deck of a double-decker night bus in Camden, north London, when they were confronted by the youths in the early hours of May 30.
The teenagers, aged 15, 16 and 17, appeared in court today after previously denying charges of harassment by using threatening or abusive words or behaviour.
Highbury Corner Youth Court previously heard the two women were surrounded by the boys, hit with coins and subjected to sexual gestures after they refused to perform a sex act.
Before the trial on Thursday which was expected to last two days, all the teenagers who cannot be named due to their ages, admitted the public order offences.
Prosecutor Saira Khan told the court the teenagers each played different roles during the nine-minute incident.
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Charges were dropped on Thursday against a 17-year-old.
As they sat on the top deck, the couple were approached by a group of males who began to make lewd and homophobic comments and gestures.
A fight ensued which left both victims with wounds to their faces after being punched several times by the suspects and a phone and bag were stolen.
Scotland Yard's investigating officer, Det Con Darren Barlow, said: "No one should ever be victimised 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, Transport for London's safety boss, echoed this. She 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."
Det Supt Waheed Khan, the Met's lead for hate crime, added: "London is such a diverse and tolerant city and I know that the public were rightly outraged that something of this nature could take place in our city." He also urged anyone who had suffered hate crime but not reported it to come forward.
Additional reporting by PA.