One of the teens who attacked a lesbian couple on a UK night bus has been saved from spending time in jail.
Back in May, we shared the news of Melania Ramirez, who went by Melania Geymonat at the time, and Christine Hannigan. Ramirez, a Ryanair flight attendant from Uruguay, says the couple were approached by a group of teenage boys. The boys made sexual gestures and demanded that the women kiss in front of them. When they didn’t, the teenagers proceeded to pelt the women with coins before directly punching them in the face. Hannigan’s jaw was injured and Ramirez’s nose was broken, both required medical treatment.
On December 19, a 16-year-old boy, who’s named has been withheld due to being a minor, was sentenced at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court. He was sentenced to an eight-month youth referral order. Essentially, he’ll be placed under guidance and supervision to turn him around.
But that’s not all, the boy was also sentenced to 12 hours’ reparation and ordered to pay £220 in fines and prosecution costs for the crimes of using threatening, abusive/insulting words/behavior and for stealing Ms Geymonat’s handbag. But while the sentencing did not include jail time, it was extended from six months to eight months. This is because of the attack’s homophobic nature.
“No one should ever be victimized 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,” said DC Darren Barlow.
Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing at TfL, said:
“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. We hope this case reminds all of our customers that they should accept everyone for who they are and they have absolutely no right to abuse them.”