Newham teenagers who carried out homophobic attack on Tube while drunk avoid custodial sentence

The teenagers boarded the Jubilee line train at West Ham station Picture: Steve Poston

The teenagers boarded the Jubilee line train at West Ham station Picture: Steve Poston - Credit: Archant

Two teenagers from Newham who attacked a 19-year-old on a train and forced him to apologise for being gay while drunk on Lambrini have been spared a custodial sentence.

The two defendants, aged 16 and 17 and who cannot be identified for legal reasons, threatened the young man and a female friend after spotting them travelling to a fancy dress party on the Jubilee line.

The 16-year-old held the man in a headlock, leaving him gasping for breath, and forced him to apologise about his sexuality during the incident at around 11.20pm on October 21 last year, Bexley Youth Court heard.

The defendants, along with a third male who has never been identified, had stood directly in front of the victims when they boarded the train, despite the carriage being empty.

A 25-year-old woman, a friend of the first victim, was punched and pushed to the ground by the older defendant when she tried to intervene, said prosecutor Samantha Mitchell, although the blow was aimed at another member of her group.

Today, the 16-year-old admitted assault by beating of the male victim, while his co-defendant admitted using threatening language towards the 25-year-old woman, but was not charged with assaulting her.

The victims, who were both in costume, were travelling westbound when the defendants - who they did not know - boarded the train at West Ham and immediately began abusing them.

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Ms Mitchell said: “The victim had a headband on, some shorts and a top and a jacket on, so all you could see was his bare legs.”

She said the boys started using homophobic insults, and became violent when one of his friends told them that it was not acceptable.

In statements, both victims said the assaults had left them anxious on public transport, while the man said he had suffered panic attacks.

When questioned by magistrate Glenford Shipley-Younan, both boys apologised and said they had been very drunk at the time of the incident - but have since quit alcohol.

They were ordered to attend youth offender meetings for 12 months and pay £150 compensation to their victims as well as £20 in costs.

Mr Shipley-Younan told them had they been older they would have probably have faced jail.