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Teen ordered to attend diversity sessions after abusing same-sex couple on bus | UK News



A 15-year-old boy has been ordered to attend diversity sessions as part of his sentence for abusing a same-sex couple on a bus.

He was one of three boys who admitted threatening Melania Geymonat and Christine Hannigan in what a judge described as a “disgusting and degrading” episode shortly after 2.15am on 30 May.

Ms Geymonat and Ms Hannigan were subjected to homophobic slurs and pelted with coins during the incident on a night bus in north London earlier this year, a court heard.

Ms Hannigan was also punched in the face and Ms Geymonat’s bag was stolen.

Highbury Corner youth court was told that the boys – aged 15, 16 and 17 – had surrounded the couple and asked them intrusive questions.

The 15-year-old made “degrading gestures” towards the pair.

He also gave the 17-year-old coins which were pelted at the women, prompting a scuffle.

All three teenagers, who cannot be named because of their age, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

Violence erupts on the top deck of a bus between two women and a group of teenagers

CCTV of incident in May

The 15-year-old was given a youth referral order of eight months.

A further charge of handling stolen goods, related to Ms Geymonat’s bank card, was included in the sentence.

District Judge Nicholas Rimmer told him the two women “were met with disgusting and degrading behaviour and you should feel thoroughly ashamed of your conduct”.

He said that the referral order “will include diversity sessions which will make you think about hate crime”.

The judge said: “You need the close supervision of the youth offending service to think carefully about your behaviour.”

The court heard that when asked how his actions may have hurt the two women, the teenager said: “I feel sorry for the victims, it didn’t have to escalate like that.”

His lawyer, Josef Rybacki, said it was “clearly a case of immaturity and stupidity rather than hostility”.

The two other boys have already been sentenced.

The 16-year-old received an eight-month youth referral order while the 17-year-old was given a four-month youth rehabilitation order.

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