THREE teenage boys have admitted to the homophobic abuse of a lesbian couple on a London bus in May earlier this year.
The boys, aged 15, 16 and 17 confronted Melania Geymonat and her partner Christine Hannigan on the top deck of a night bus in Camden, north London, threatening the couple and asking them to kiss each other and to perform sex acts.
They also threw coins at the women, both of whom worked for Ryanair at the time, before physically assaulting.
News of the attack circulated on social media once Ms Geymonat posted a photo of herself and her partner with their faces covered in blood, following the attack.
The teenagers appeared before a youth court in north London on Thursday, where CCTV footage of the terrifying incident was played.
They had previously denied charges of harassment by using threatening or abusive words or behaviour, but today, before the trial began, the teenagers - who cannot be named for legal reasons - officially admitted to the charges.
Ms Geymonat took to Facebook shortly after the incident to describe what happened:
"They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us 'lesbians' and describing sexual positions," she wrote.
"I don’t remember the whole episode, but the word 'scissors' stuck in my mind. It was only them and us there. In an attempt to calm things down, I started making jokes. I thought this might make them go away.
"Chris even pretended she was sick, but they kept on harassing us, throwing coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it. The next thing I know is Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them.
"On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up. The next thing I know is I’m being punched. I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back. I don’t remember whether or not I lost consciousness. Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding all over. Our stuff was stolen as well.
"What upsets me the most is that VIOLENCE HAS BECOME A COMMON THING, that sometimes it’s necessary to see a woman bleeding after having been punched to feel some kind of impact," she added.
"I’m tired of being taken as a SEXUAL OBJECT, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up JUST BECAUSE. We have to endure verbal harassment AND CHAUVINIST, MISOGYNISTIC AND HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE because when you stand up for yourself shit like this happens.
"By the way, I am thankful to all the women and men in my life that understand that HAVING BALLS MEANS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. I just hope that in June, Pride Month, stuff like this can be spoken out loudly so they STOP HAPPENING!"