Homophobic attack on bus: Four boys charged with aggravated hate crimes
Four teenage boys, aged 15 to 17, have been charged following a homophobic attack on a Ryanair flight attendant, who was living in Bishop's Stortford, and her girlfriend.
Uruguayan Melania Geymonat, 28, and her American partner Chris, 29, were taunted about being gay by a gang of youths on the top deck of a bus in Camden, north London, in the early hours of Thursday, May 30.
The bullies demanded that the women kiss for them. When they refused, the couple were attacked and robbed.
In the aftermath, Melania asked another bus passenger to take a picture of her and Chris's bloodied faces. When the pair posted the image on their Facebook pages, it went viral and the attack was reported across the globe.
Melania, a qualified doctor who was working for the budget airline at Stansted Airport during a sabbatical year, left Bishop's Stortford in July for a fresh start in Barcelona, where she will study to become a surgeon.
When she spoke to Indie news editor Sinead Corr shortly before her departure, she explained: "I need to go back to normal – I'm not used to this attention."
On Thursday (July 25), Metropolitan police announced that they had charged four teenage boys – three from Kensington and Chelsea, aged 17, 16 and 15, and a 16-year-old from Wandsworth – with an aggravated hate crime.
They will appear at Highbury Youth Court on Wednesday August 21.
Three of the youths face additional charges. The Wandsworth boy is accused of theft and handling stolen goods, the 15-year-old is charged with handling stolen goods and the Kensington and Chelsea 16-year-old is charged with possession of cannabis.