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Court increases youth's sentence for lesbophobic attack on former Stortford woman and her girlfriend



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A court increased the sentence of a 16-year-old boy who attacked a former Bishop’s Stortford woman and her girlfriend on a London bus because his actions were also a hate crime.

The teenager harassed ex-Ryanair flight attendant Melania Geymonat and her American date, Christine Hannigan, when they refused to kiss for his entertainment during the incident in Camden, north London, on May 30.

The 16-year-old and two other youths had previously admitted targeting them, and his accomplices made lesbophobic gestures and threw coins at the couple.

Indie office, Bishop's Stortford – Melania Geymonat Pic: Vikki Lince (24756259)
Indie office, Bishop's Stortford – Melania Geymonat Pic: Vikki Lince (24756259)

His six-month youth referral order was extended by two months as a result. The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, was also fined £100 and ordered to pay a surcharge of £20 at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court.

He 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 mobile phone.

On Thursday (December 19), magistrate Peter Bullet said: “It would seem it was both a homophobic trigger and the context for this offending behaviour."

Melania Geymonat, right, and her girlfriend Chris Hannigan pictured in the aftermath of the attack on the bus (24756225)
Melania Geymonat, right, and her girlfriend Chris Hannigan pictured in the aftermath of the attack on the bus (24756225)

A 17-year-old co-defendant has already been given a four-month youth rehabilitation order and supervision over the attack, while the third boy, who is 15, will be sentenced on Monday (December 23).

Ms Geymonat, 28, who also previously lived in Takeley during her stint working for the airline based at Stansted Airport, is a qualified doctor from Uruguay. After the attack, she moved to Barcelona in Spain to train as a surgeon.



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