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southern-trains_415x275A woman who was part of a five-strong group which attacked a teenage girl on a train after spotting her kissing her girlfriend has been jailed.

April James, 20, of Carfax Close in Bexhill, Sussex, England, was sentenced to six weeks in prison at Hastings Magistrates’ Court yesterday after pleading guilty to assault by beating.

The 16-year-old lesbian victim was attacked while travelling back to Bexhill by train from the Hastings Bonfire evening on 15 October last year.

The court heard how the victim and her girlfriend were subjected to verbal homophobic abuse by the group of five after they saw them kissing.

When the victim objected to the comments, she was attacked and fell over, with James admitting having kicked her in the head or shoulder while she lay on the floor.

The attack only stopped when the train arrived at Bexhill, with the victim, James and the other girls leaving the train.

Speaking after sentencing, through a statement issued by British Transport Police, the victim’s mother said: ‘I’m immensely proud of my daughter and the choice she has made but this incident left her feeling ashamed and has had an immeasurable impact on her and the rest of our family.

’In this day and age everyone should have the right to go about their business and be who they want to be without fear of abuse or repercussions.’

She added that the last seven months since the incident have been ‘very long and difficult’.

She said: ‘We’re relieved that this has now been dealt with by the courts because it will allow us to try and move on together as a family and put this behind us.’

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