London’s Metropolitan Police have charged four teenage boys aged 15 to 17 with an aggravated hate crime following a violent attack on two women traveling home on a London bus on May 30.
Melania Geymonat, 28, and her partner Chris, 29, were attacked while on a night bus in May, and Geymonat’s Facebook post describing the ordeal – complete with a picture of the two women with bloodied faces – was rapidly shared across the internet.
Geymonat detailed how men had started harassing the couple when they saw them kissing, taunting them and ordering them to kiss for their amusement.
“The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them,” she wrote.
“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.”
The post made global headlines and was shared over 14,000 times on Facebook alone.
The attack – which left Geymonat with a broken nose – was condemned by then-Prime Minister Theresa May as well as London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
“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,” said May.
Two of the boys were also charged with handling stolen goods, while another was charged with possession of cannabis. You can read the full list of charges here.
The four alleged attackers will appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court on August 21.