Warning: distressing content
Three teenagers charged with harassing a lesbian couple on a London night bus have pleaded guilty to public order offences in a London youth court on Thursday.
Melania Geymonat and girlfriend Christine were on a date on May 30 when they caught a night bus in West Hampstead in north-west London.
They were confronted by a group of five teenage males who pelted them with coins and asked them to kiss in front of them.
The young men demanded the couple kiss so they could “enjoy watching” and made other lewd sexual comments.
“In an attempt to calm things down, I started making jokes,” Geymonat wrote on Facebook in June.
“I thought this might make them go away… But they kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it.”
The incident escalated and a fight ensued. The teenage boys punched the women several times and left both women bloodied with facial wounds. The teens also stole a phone and a bag from the women.
The lesbian couple shared a photograph of their bloodied clothing and faces after the attack that subsequently went viral.
CCTV footage of the nine-minute incident was shown in court and excerpts were released by London’s Metropolitan Police Service.
#NoPlaceForHate | "No one should be victimised because of their sexuality"
Three teens have pleaded guilty after a violent homophobic incident on a bus. Following lewd gestures, a fight ensued and the female victims were punched repeatedly in the face
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) November 28, 2019
Teenage males plead guilty to aggravated hate crime against lesbian couple
Three of the males, who can’t be identified because of their age, pleaded guilty to various offences relating to the attack after a police investigation.
The teenagers appeared in a London court on Thursday.
Two pleaded guilty to offences including committing an aggravated hate crime against the lesbian couple and handling stolen goods.
The boys will be sentenced on Monday, 23 December.
Another of the boys pleaded guilty to a public order offence in the bus attack. Charges against a fourth teen, aged 17, were dropped.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Command, said any hate crime in London “will absolutely not be tolerated.”
“The Met’s RTPC officers will always fully investigate crimes that are committed on the bus network and we would urge anyone who has been a victim of crime to contact us,” he said.
Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing and Community Safety at Transport for London, said the attack was “utterly unacceptable”.
“Homophobic abuse is a hate crime and won’t be tolerated on our network,” she said.
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