Fifth teenager arrested after couple attacked in homophobic assault on UK bus

A fifth teenager has been arrested after a couple were subjected to a homophobic attack and robbery by a gang when they refused to kiss on a bus.

The assault on Melania Geymonat, 28, and her girlfriend Chris happened on the top of a double-decker London night bus as they were travelling from West Hampstead to Camden Town, north London.

Melania Geymonat released this image of her and her girlfriend after what she claimed was an attack on them both by a group of young men. Pic: Melania Geymonat
Melania Geymonat released this image of her and her girlfriend after what she claimed was an attack on them both by a group of young men. Pic: Melania Geymonat

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of robbery and aggravated burglary on Saturday morning, Scotland Yard said.

The arrest came after four males aged between 15 and 18 were arrested on suspicion of robbery and aggravated GBH on Friday.

All are being questioned in custody, the force said.

A group of young men allegedly began harassing the two women when they discovered they were a couple, asking them to kiss while making sexual gestures.

Both women were taken to hospital for treatment to facial injuries after the incident in the early hours of May 30.

Miss Geymonat said in a Facebook post that the gang behaved like "hooligans", throwing money at the couple before punching them in an attack which left them covered in blood.

She told BBC Radio 4's World At One she had never before been physically attacked because of her sexuality, and was surprised it had happened in London.

"I know that there is a lot of violence, horrible violence, all the time. That's the thing that made me tell the story," Miss Geymonat said.

"Even when these guys came, it was not the first situation when men see two women kissing, and they start acting as if we were a joke."

Police continue to appeal for witnesses and information after the alleged assault and robbery, which happened on the N31 bus, and continue to trace other suspects.

A phone and bag were stolen, the Metropolitan Police said.

Acting Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both condemned the attack.

Mrs May said: "This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected.

"Nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love, and we must work together to eradicate unacceptable violence towards the LGBT community."

Mr Corbyn said: "We must not, and will not, accept this homophobic and misogynist violence in our society."

Detective Superintendent Andy Cox said: "This was a disgusting attack on two women who appear to have been picked out and targeted by a group of youths.

"A number of active inquiries are in hand to trace other individuals suspected to have been involved in the incident.

"Lots of people will understandably be outraged by this attack. Our efforts to trace all the suspects involved and bring them in for questioning will be relentless.

"We continue to appeal for information from the public, particularly those who were present on the bus before or after the attack, to come forward and tell police what they saw."

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