A British teen who hurled homophobic abuse at two gay men on a train was jailed yesterday (7 December).
Ishmail Iqba, 19, will be in imprisoned for 18 weeks after he was found guilty of the verbal onslaught at an earlier hearing.
On 3 August, Blackpool Magistrates Court heard how he had travelled with a group of friends on a Northern Rail service from Wigan to Blackpool North.
During the journey, Iqbal and his friends were heard by a gay man who was offended by the homophobic language and asked the group to stop.
Iqbal, from Coventry, then became aggressive, used anti-gay insults at the passenger and threatened to stab him with a glass bottle.
British Transport policeman (BTP) Chris Haughton said: ‘Despite being told there was CCTV on-board the train, Iqbal continued his homophobic and threatening behavior, telling the passenger and his friend, who confirmed they were gay during the confrontation, they were worse than animals and “2000 years ago you would have been killed”.
‘The two victims left the carriage and reported the incident to BTP. The train was met at Blackpool North and Iqbal was arrested.’
Haughton added: ‘Iqbal’s behavior during this journey was completely deplorable and has no place either on the railway or in society in general.
‘British Transport Police takes any form of abusive behavior extremely seriously and, as this case has shown, will take prompt action against offenders.
‘The sentence handed down by the court clearly also demonstrates that the wider legal system views such behavior in an equally dim light.’
The incident is similar to when a young gay couple filmed a 56-year-old homophobic man verbally abusing and threatening to attack them. He was released with an official police caution.