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Man awarded £7500 over 'wordless homophobic gestures' in landmark case

2015-10-30
A gay man was awarded £7500 compensation in a landmark case based solely on wordless homophobic gestures, the Telegraph reports. The unnamed victim, from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, sued locksmith firm Taylor Edwards Ltd under the Equality Act for “vile and vulgar homophobic gestures” by 30-year-old shop assistant Peter Edwards. Tim Southend County Court heard that Edwards, whose mum Angela owns the business, blew a “sarcastic kiss” at a disgruntled Tim as he walked out. The abuse went on as Tim returned to the shop several times over 10 months due to a refund dispute. In an exclusive interview, Tim told the BBC that Edwards’ discriminatory actions “would range from low-level sarcastic winks and kisses at me to mocking and abuse”. “I was his joke, his bit of fun, his source of amusement. I was distressed by it and angry – it made me anxious,” he said. A judge ruled that Tim’s distress had ‘not been minor’ and awarded him compensation at a hearing last month. In a statement released by Unity Law, the solicitors who represented Tim, he said, “I will be absolutely chuffed if this case prevents one person from carrying out a homophobic act in the future and additionally, if this case provides one person with the courage and conviction to come forward and report an act of harassment and/or homophobia in the future.” More stories: This college guy just realised his best friend might actually be his boyfriend Win £500 worth of store credit at MR PORTER