Words: Steve Brown
Four teenage boys have denied attacking a lesbian couple after they refused to kiss on a London bus.
On May 30, the two women – both in their 20s – boarded a bus in West Hampstead but were approached by a group of four men who began to hurl homophobic comments towards them.
When Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend, Chris, refused to kiss each other, the men attacked and punched them several times before running off bus. They stole a phone and bag during the attack.
Both women were taken to hospital for treatment to horrific facial injuries.
In July, Scotland Yard revealed four teenage boys, aged between 15 and 17, had been charged with committing an aggravated hate crime.
Yesterday (August 21), the four alleged attackers appeared at the Highbury Corner youth court where they pleaded not guilty to causing harassment by threatening or abusive words or behaviour.
The teens are set to appear in court on November 28 for a two-day trial, according to The Guardian.
Siwan Hayward, of Transport for London, told the Mirror: “Homophobic behaviour and 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 assault and we are working with the police to stamp out this behaviour on our transport network.”