Man pleads guilty to committing a hate crime against ticket inspector

30/09/2015

A 42-year-old man has today pleaded guilty at Manchester City Magistrates’ Court of making homophobic and abusive remarks to a ticket inspector at Walkden Railway Station.

On the morning of Friday 9 January 2015, the victim was conducting ticket checks with some of her colleagues at the town's railway station when John Turner from Walkden walked past the ticket station without purchasing a ticket.

The victim stopped the defendant and requested that he purchase a ticket. Turner objected that he wanted to buy a ticket once on board as otherwise he would miss his train.

His request was refused and he was asked again to purchase a ticket. This resulted in the train departing and Turner missing his train. He then subjected the victim to a verbal volley of homophobic and foul abuse.

The matter was reported to British Transport Police who as a result arrested the defendant and he was later charged. He today pleaded guilty to an offence of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause another person harassment, alarm or distress. He pleaded guilty on the basis that the offence was aggravated by him demonstrating hostility towards the victim based on the sexual orientation (or presumed sexual orientation) of the victim.

Turner will be sentenced on 21 October 2015 at Manchester City Magistrates' Court.

John Bristow, District Crown Prosecutor and Hate Crime Coordinator from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "Homophobic hate crimes are based on ignorance and discrimination, and have no place in an open and democratic society.

"The conviction of John Turner demonstrates how seriously the Crown Prosecution Service considers these sort of cases. The victim in this case was discharging a public duty when she was abused by Turner in this appalling fashion.

"Homophobic abuse has no place in a liberal and democratic society and I would urge those who feel they have been the victims of homophobic or other hate crime to report it to the police. The CPS is determined to get justice for every person we serve and, where we have sufficient evidence that a crime was based on hostility towards someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, prosecutors will argue that this is an aggravating factor in court."