LONDON: British police on Thursday (Jul 25) charged four teenage boys over an alleged homophobic attack on a lesbian couple who refused to kiss in front of them on a London night bus.
Melania Geymonat, 28, said she and her girlfriend Chris were robbed and left covered in blood after the incident in the trendy Camden Town area on May 30.
The four boys, aged between 15 and 17, were all charged with committing "an aggravated hate crime", London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Some of the group also face other charges including theft, handling stolen goods, and possession of cannabis, the force added.
They are all set to appear in a London youth court on Aug 21.
Geymonat earlier told the BBC that the gang surrounded the couple while aboard the top deck of the bus.
"They started saying really aggressive stuff, things about sexual positions, lesbians and claiming we could kiss so they could watch us," she said.
"They started throwing coins. The next thing I know Chris is in the middle of the bus and they are punching her.
"So I immediately went there by impulse and tried to pull her out of there and they started punching me. I was really bleeding."
Both women were taken to hospital for treatment to facial injuries.
Geymonat is from Uruguay while British newspapers reported that her girlfriend is from the US.
She told the BBC she has previously experienced "a lot of verbal violence" but had never been assaulted before because of her sexuality.
"I was and still am angry," she said.
"It was scary, but this is not a novel situation."
Britain's then prime minister Theresa May had condemned the violence.
"This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected," she said at the time.
"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."