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southern-trains_415x275A 16-year-old received verbal abuse and was ‘punched and kicked’ on a Southern train after kissing her girlfriend.

The gay teenager was travelling with her girlfriend to Bexhill in Sussex last October after attending Hastings Bonfire celebrations. After kissing her girlfriend on the packed train, they claim a group of girls subjected them to homophobic abuse.

Mark Kateley, prosecuting, said: ‘When the victim and her partner objected to comments made, she was then assaulted by a group of females during which she was punched, had her hair pulled and at one point had her head banged against the door and ended up on the floor being kicked a number of times on the floor.

According to the Bexhill-On-Sea Observer, last Friday a hearing at Hastings Magistrates Court revealed that a member of the attackers, 19-year-old April James, kicked the victim in the head as she lay on the floor.

The lesbian victim said: ‘This incident made me feel ashamed of who I am and made me scared of going out and getting on a train… It made me scared of being with my girlfriend.’

While James admits that she was involved in the attack, she claims that it took place on the platform at Bexhill station and that her involvement was minimal.

A mini trial, called a Newton Hearing, will take place at Hastings Magistrates Court on 23 April.

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