A couple have been found guilty of homophobic abuse to their neighbour in Brighton, a city well known for being the UK’s gay capital.
Gary Corness, 32, and his girlfriend Lacey Lee, 24, threatened to break the victim’s CCTV camera during the lengthy conflict. Both Corness and Lee, who live on Warbleton Close in Brighton, were convicted on Sunday of public order offences.
Due to the homophobic nature of the crimes, their sentences were increased by the Brighton Magistrates Court. They were both handed 12-month community orders and ordered to pay costs, Brighton and Hove News has reported.
According to Lee Croizer from the Criminal Prosecution Service, the victim “was met with a barrage of abuse from the two defendants, including homophobic comments, after saying hello to his neighbours.”
Croizer went on to emphasise the importance of people to speak up against abuse of this nature. “In this case, the homophobic language was heard, not only by the victim, but was witnessed by other neighbours, who came forward to help with statements. Information like this can often be valuable in bringing those who perpetrate hate crime to justice.”
Brighton is known as one of the most gay-friendly parts of the UK – it holds one of the biggest Pride parades in Europe every year, and has a masses of gay-friendly venues, if not all of them being gay friendly. There is also Kemptown which has a bunch of gay bars and is generally known as the ‘gayer’ side of the city.
However, despite the city being unofficially known as the UK’s “gay capital”, LGBT people living in Brighton are not immune to homophobic abuse.
In 2014, a lesbian couple were told by a security guard in a Brighton Sainsbury’s that a customer found them “disgusting” after they kissed, and even threatened to evict them from the shop.
The treatment of the two women resulted in Sussex University hosting a kiss-in protest, attracting hundreds of people to support the couple.
Last year, Dain Finney and his partner James Loxton were violently attacked during a night out in Brighton, after being followed by two men who shouted homophobic comments at them as they were walking home. Dain bravely opened up about the attack on Facebook, and the couple’s story was shared around the world.
According to Sussex Police, what happened to Dain and James was a “violent and unprovoked homophobic attack on two men who were singled out for their sexual orientation.”
Colony Q: This article has been altered from the original. The original article described Brighton in a way we felt was not very accurate. PinkNews stated Brighton has ‘a number gay-friendly venues in kemptown’. While this is true, Brighton is generally known for all its venue’s across the entire city being gay-friendly. Kemptown is known for being where ‘Gay bars and clubs’ are located. Regular LGBT nights are hosted at venues all over the city.
Some other editorial changes have been made to the layout of this article.