World News

Teenagers admit homophobic London bus attack on two women

LONDON (Reuters) - Three teenage boys pleaded guilty on Thursday to public order offences over a homophobic attack on two women on a London bus in which one of the victims said the attackers had tried to force them to kiss each other.

The incident took place in the early hours of May 30 after the women, in their 20s, boarded a night bus in West Hampstead. A fight ensued which left both women bloodied, with facial wounds after they were punched several times and a phone and a bag were stolen.

One of the women, Melania Geymonat, 28, told BBC radio at the time that the group began harassing them when they discovered she and her girlfriend Chris were a couple.

“They surrounded us and started saying really aggressive stuff, things about sexual positions, lesbians and claiming we could kiss so they could watch us,” she said.

On Thursday, two boys aged 16 and a 15-year-old pleaded guilty at Highbury Magistrates’ Court to offences including committing an aggravated hate crime and handling stolen goods. They will be sentenced on Dec. 23.

“This sickening incident was utterly unacceptable,” said Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing and Community Safety at Transport for London. “Homophobic abuse is a hate crime and won’t be tolerated on our network.”

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison