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3 youths plead guilty to London bus attack of lesbian couple

Police in London have arrested a fifth suspect on suspicion of of punching two women on a bus because they are lesbians.

Trio will be sentenced Dec. 23 in incident that attracted international attention

Melania Geymonat, right, posted a picture to her Facebook account soon after the assault. (Melania Ps/Facebook)

Three teenage boys pleaded guilty on Thursday to public order offences over a homophobic attack on two women on a London bus in which one of the victims said the attackers had tried to force them to kiss each other.

The incident took place in the early hours of May 30 after the women, both in their 20s, boarded a night bus in West Hampstead. Both women were left bloodied and with facial wounds after they were punched several times and had a phone and a bag stolen.

One of the women, Melania Geymonat, 28, told BBC radio at the time that the group began harassing them when they discovered she and her girlfriend Chris were a couple.

"They surrounded us and started saying really aggressive stuff, things about sexual positions, lesbians and claiming we could kiss so they could watch us," she said.

On Thursday, two boys aged 16 as well as a 15-year-old pleaded guilty at Highbury Magistrates' Court to offences including committing an aggravated hate crime and handling stolen goods. They will be sentenced on Dec. 23.

"This sickening incident was utterly unacceptable," said Mandy McGregor, head of transport policing and community safety at Transport for London. "Homophobic abuse is a hate crime and won't be tolerated on our network."