In a story that went viral in the spring, four teenage boys were arrested after attacking a same-sex couple on a London bus. After the women showed affection to one another, the boys (ages 15, 16, 17, 17) attempted to get them to kiss and when they wouldn’t, the boys threw coins at them, punched them, and stole some of their belongings. Now, through an updated report, we’ve learned charges were dismissed against one of the 17-year-olds, the second 17-year-old was given a four-month youth rehabilitation order, the 16-year-old was lightly reprimanded, and the 15-year-old is still awaiting his sentence.
The three boys were all facing a charge of harassment as a hate crime due to the group’s homophobic gestures and statements, like disparagingly saying “oh lesbians” and “do you scissor?” The Evening Standard reports that all three of the alleged attackers pleaded guilty to targeting the women before their trial was set to start last month. The 16-year-old faced an extra charge of harassment and theft because he stole a purse from one of the victims and handled her cell phone. But he’s walking away with eight months of community service and 120 pounds ($156) in fines and fees. Attorney Andrew Mooney said that the 16-year-old wasn’t shouting homophobic slurs like the others were. The teen also said that he understands that he hurt the women and wants to “show them that’s not the person I am.” The 17-year-old initially denied any involvement in the attack, but the judge – who reviewed security camera footage – rejected his claim. He was given a four month youth rehabilitation order, which can involve various punishments.
We will continue to keep you updated. If you missed the homophobic hate crime that sent shock waves around the world, see that below, and chime in on the teens’ sentencing.