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Moment boy makes ‘scissoring’ gesture at lesbian couple before launching attack

Ndifreke UDOH

Nov. 29, 2019

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This is the moment that a group of boys attacked a lesbian couple on a bus because they refused to kiss for their amusement.
One of the boys, 15, approached the couple who were at the front of the N31 double decker in Camden in the early hours of May 30.
He then made a scissoring gesture towards them with his fingers before one of his friends took one of the couple’s handbags, Highbury Corner Youth Court was told.
Prosecutor Saira Khan said: ‘It is undisputed that it is less than ten seconds after going on the top of the bus they then are approached by three of the group of four.’
She described the boys as approaching the women like the ‘tide washing in’.
Ms Geymonat appeared to be trying to diffuse the situation with the surrounding teenagers as she held Ms Hannigan, who was pretending to be sick.
After a few minutes, the footage shows the boys making gestures before the whole group moves around the bus and a fight ensued.
Both women were taken to hospital for treatment for facial injuries after the attack.
Ms Khan said the teenagers saw the women as ‘some form of entertainment’ which was why the 17-year-old was throwing coins at the pair.
District Judge Susan Williams said the offence ‘plainly’ involved the women’s’ sexual orientations.
She said: ‘The two young women were behaving in an overtly affectionate manner.
‘They were clustering around watching them like some sort of sideshow, they seem to think it a huge joke and behaved inappropriately.
‘I don’t know if I would describe it as a “hate crime” but they quite clearly targeted this couple.
‘It is plainly the fact it was a same-sex couple that attracted the boys and provoked their interaction.
‘I would hope in this day and age we could tolerate others and not carry on in the way that they did.’
Whether the incident was aggravated by the women’s’ sexual orientations will be decided at sentence.
After the hearing, investigating officer Detective Constable 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, Head of Transport Policing and Community Safety at TfL, added: ‘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.’
The 15 and 16-year-olds each admitted two counts of using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment of distress.
The 17-year-old admitted one count of using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment or distress towards Ms Hannigan, but denied being hostile towards on the basis of sexual orientation.
He will appear again at Highbury Corner Youth Court on Friday for a fact-finding hearing.
The 16-year-old previously admitted stealing Ms Geymonat’s handbag during the attack.
He also admitted one count of handling stolen goods and will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on December 19.
The 15-year-old, who also admitted a count of handling stolen goods, will appear again at Highbury Corner Youth Court for sentence on December 23.
Charges were also dropped against a 17-year-old.
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