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Couple subjected to homophobic abuse on late night bus

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A same sex couple have been subjected to homophobic abuse by a gang of youths on bus, police said.

Daniel McDonnell and Giles Norton were targeted on the late-night bus service in Cheltenham last week by four or five teenagers.

Gloucestershire Police believe the couple, who had been to a drag event in the town, were targeted because Mr McDonnell was dressed in drag.

The bus driver was alerted to the incident and stopped on Shurdington Road so that the victims could get off.

Officers said the pair were subjected to homophobic abuse by the youths on the top deck of the bus as it travelled from Cheltenham to Gloucester.

The group, who made various comments towards the couple, were described as being white, all males, in their late teens and one of them was wearing a black sweatshirt.

The incident is being treated as a hate crime and County Hate Crime Coordinator PC Steph Lawrence said: “Gloucestershire is a welcoming, friendly and diverse county and we will not tolerate hate in any of its forms. We will work hard to address it, with the help of our partner agencies across the county.

“As a force we have a four year strategic plan in place to tackle hate, we encourage all victims of these crimes to come forward and report either to us, or Gloucestershire Victim Support.

“We also encourage people not to be bystanders and report on behalf of others.”

CCTV enquiries are currently ongoing to identify those involved and investigating officers are asking anyone who was on the bus and witnessed what happened to please make contact.

Information can be submitted online by completing the following form and quoting incident 7 of 13 March: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/

Alternatively, you can call police on 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or online at https://crimestoppers-uk.org/ 

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