IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Four teenage boys deny harassing female couple on bus in Camden

The youths will stand trial in November

21 August, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

A picture of the couple after the alleged incident in May

FOUR teenage boys have denied harassing a couple in a “homophobically aggravated” incident on a bus in Camden.

The boys, who cannot be named because of their age, are accused of surrounding Meliana Geymonat and Christine Hannigan and began to make comments on their sexual orientation.

The couple were heading home on top deck of the N31 bus when they were allegedly targeted on May 30 shortly after 2.15am.

Prosecutor Arlene De Silva said the case was been treated as “homophobically aggravated”.

She said: “The two females had been out for the evening, they were being affectionate towards each other on the bus.

“The group of defendants came down to the front of the bus, sat behind them, surrounded them and began to make comments towards then based on their sexual orientation.”

She said the boys allegedly called the women ‘lesbians’ and made references to sexual activity.

“One of the complainants says she spoke to them trying to deflect their behaviour and described how the group continued continued to be disrespectful towards them,” said Ms De Silva.

They are accused of trying to make the couple kiss and calling them derogatory terms.

Ms De Silva said: “One of the males began throwing coins at them and she said to them ‘throw another coin and see what happens’. And there then was an altercation between them.” The defendants then left the bus, she added.

Ms Geymonat was referred to by the surname Ramirez in court.

The four teenagers, two aged 17, a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old, appeared at Highbury Youth Court today (Wednesday). All denied a public order offence of using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The 16-year-old boy, from Wandsworth, also denied a charge of handling stolen goods relating to Ms Hannigan’s mobile phone but pleaded guilty to the theft of Ms Ramirez’s handbag.

A 15-year-old boy from Kensington and Chelsea pleaded not guilty to handling Ms Ramirez’s stolen bank card. A 17-year-old, also from Kensington and Chelsea, denied possessing cannabis when he was arrested.

A two-day trial will start on November 28.

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