London bus attack: Boy's sentence increased for targeting couple

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Melania Geymonat (right) and ChrisImage source, Melania Geymonat
Image caption,
Melania Geymonat (right) and Christine Hannigan both needed hospital treatment

A teenager who harassed two women when they refused to kiss on a London bus has had his sentence increased because of his "homophobic" actions, a court has heard.

Melania Geymonat and her date Christine Hannigan were pelted with coins and had a handbag stolen while on a Camden night bus on 30 May.

The 16-year-old and two others previously admitted targeting them.

His six-month youth referral order has been extended by two months.

The youth, who cannot be named due to his age, was also fined £100 and ordered to pay a surcharge of £20 at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court.

He had admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress against the two women.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing Ms Geymonat's handbag and Ms Hannigan's phone which were both found following his arrest.

Andrew Mooney, mitigating, said the 16-year-old had not thrown coins or made homophobic gestures like his co-defendants, but chair magistrate Peter Bullet increased the sentence due to its homophobic nature.

"It would seem it was both a homophobic trigger and the context for this offending behaviour," Mr Bullet said.

Media caption,

'I was and still am angry at bus attack'

Addressing the court, as part of a restorative justice programme, the teenager said he had hurt the two women, as well as his own family and friends.

When asked how he could make it up to them all, he replied that he must "show them that's not the person I am".

A 17-year-old was previously given a four-month youth rehabilitation order and supervision over the attack, while a third boy, 15, will be sentenced on 23 December.

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