Community orders given to couple over homophobic abuse in Brighton


A man and a woman have both been handed 12 month community orders, after yelling homophobic abuse in an ongoing neighbour dispute in Brighton.

Lacey Lee (24) and her boyfriend Gary Corness (32) were both convicted of public order offences, after the victim was subjected to the abuse in the communal garden in Warbleton Close by the pair. Lee is the daughter of his neighbour. As well as the abuse, Lee threatened to smash the victim’s CCTV cameras.

Crimes which are motivated 'wholly or partly' by hostility based on perceived religion, race, sexual orientation or disability are eligible for an uplifted sentence. In this case, Lee was given a six week curfew order, which was increased from four weeks, while Corness was ordered to undertake 110 hours of unpaid work, which was increased from 90 hours. They were both also ordered to pay costs.

Lee Crozier, from the CPS, said:

"The victim in this case was met with a barrage of abuse from the two defendants, including homophobic comments, after saying hello to his neighbours. This is not something anyone should expect to have to encounter.

"The CPS is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms, as this sort of abuse is completely unacceptable. To do this though, we first need victims to come forward and report what has happened to them.

"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."

Tackling hate crime is one of the priorities for CPS South East, which serves Kent, Surrey and Sussex and we aim to promote successful convictions on hate crimes. More information about the work we are doing to tackle hate crime, including other convictions, can be found on our website.

Groups such as Stonewall and Galop can also help LGBT victims report crimes to police.