Wandsworth teenager admits threatening women on bus who refused to perform sex act

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Wandsworth teenager admits threatening women on bus who refused to perform sex act

Postby Community Editor » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:30 am

A Wandsworth teenager was among three boys who admitted threatening two women on a bus after they refused to perform a sex act.

Melania Geymonat, 28, and her girlfriend Christine Hannigan were on the upper deck of a double-decker night bus in Camden when they were confronted by the youths in the early hours of May 30.

The teenagers, aged 15, 16 and 17, appeared in court on Thursday after previously denying charges of harassment by using threatening or abusive words or behaviour.

Highbury Corner Youth Court previously heard the two women were surrounded by the boys, hit with coins and subjected to sexual gestures after they refused to perform a sex act.

Before the trial on Thursday which was expected to last two days, all the teenagers who cannot be named due to their ages, admitted the public order offences.

Prosecutor Saira Khan told the court the teenagers each played different roles during the nine-minute incident.

Charges were dropped on Thursday against a 17-year-old.

CCTV footage from the incident was shown in court.

In the clip, the teenagers can be seen sitting at the end of the top deck of the bus before approaching the two women and sitting around them.

Ms Geymonat, who has also been known as Ms Ramirez, was holding Ms Hannigan who was pretending to be sick, while talking to the boys and appearing to try to diffuse the situation.

After a few minutes, the footage shows the boys making gestures before the whole group moves around the bus.

The 15-year-old was seen making a "scissoring" gesture to the women on the bus CCTV.

Ms Hannigan later ran toward the boys, one of whom took her handbag.

A scuffle was seen on the lower deck of the bus, and Ms Geymonat was later seen with a bloodied nose.

Ms Khan said: "It is undisputed that it is less than ten seconds after going on the top of the bus they then are approached by three of the group of four."

District Judge Susan Williams said the offence involved the women's' sexual orientation.

She said: "The two young women were behaving in an overtly affectionate manner."

She added that the boys approached the women like the "tide washing in".

She continued: "They were clustering around watching them like some sort of sideshow, they seem to think it a huge joke and behaved inappropriately.

"I don't know if I would describe it as a 'hate crime' but they quite clearly targeted this couple.

"It is plainly the fact it was a same-sex couple that attracted the boys and provoked their interaction."

However the decision of whether the incident was aggravated by their sexual orientation will be decided at sentence.

The 17-year-old admitted one count of using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment or distress.

Ms Khan said the teenagers saw the women as "some form of entertainment" which was why the 17-year-old was throwing coins at the pair.

However, the teenager, denied being hostile towards the two women on the basis of their sexual orientation.

He will appear again at Highbury Corner Youth Court on Friday for a fact-finding hearing.

The 16-year-old from Wandsworth previously admitted stealing Ms Geymonat's handbag during the attack.

He also admitted one count of handling stolen goods and will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on December 19.

The 15-year-old, who also admitted a count of handling stolen goods, will appear again at Highbury Corner Youth Court for sentence on December 23.

To see the footage from the bus, visit: https://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/ne ... m-sex-act/

Photo credit: Melania Geymonat 
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