Teen who shouted abuse says he can’t be homophobic because he has a bisexual friend

Mugshot of Keiron Mahoney

A teenager who threw anti-gay slurs at a woman has said he couldn’t possibly be homophobic because he has a bisexual friend.

Keiron Mahoney, 18, was drunk when he approached and harassed the victim outside Neath railway station in Wales. His friends pulled him back as he continued to hurl insults at the woman.

Swansea Crown Court heard how Mahoney called the victim a “fat d**e” and a “gay lesbian” on 17 July, WalesOnline reported.

Prosecutors said Mahoney left the woman shaken as she could see the teen was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He had scuffled with her once more in the past, Tom Scapens, prosecuting, added.

As Mahoney beelined towards the woman at the station, his friends tugged him away by the arm and led him away.

He was found to have an intoxication level of eight or nine out of 10 after being arrested by South Wales Police.

The court heard, however, that he denied making any homophobic comments – he told the cops that he has a friend who is bisexual.

Mahoney had just 11 days before the incident been slapped with an eight-month sentence suspended for 12 months for brazenly walking around Neath town centre on 13 July with a 20-inch machete.

Andrew Evans, defending, said Mahoney would vow to no longer drink or do drugs and seek employment if a custodial sentence was passed.

The judge disagreed. Judge Catherine Richards said that as much as Mahoney was young, he was deeply entangled with “established criminals”.

Alcohol, she added, among other substances, was seen as an excuse for the defendant to “abuse, belittle or humiliate others”.

She handed down a three-month-long sentence in a young offenders’ institution, with six months of the previously imposed suspended sentence added on.

Anti-LGBT+ hate crimes have reached new heights in Britain

Punched, kicked, spat on and being called hateful slurs were among the 19,679 hate crimes that have taken place between 2020 and 2021, according to British police figures.

And such a number is undoubtedly higher, with government figures showing how nine in 10 anti-LGBT+ hate crimes go unreported.

Just 14 per cent of those that are reported, meanwhile, are resolved by the police, the investigative journalism unit Liberty Investigates found.

A rising tide of violence has swept the nation, with instances of violence against LGBT+ people skyrocketing year on year.

Anti-gay hate crimes have tripled and transphobic attacks have quadrupled in the last six years. There was a 210 per cent uptick in LGBT+ hate crime and harassment between 2014 and 2021.

Calls to Victim Support, an independent charity that provides confidential help for victims of crime in England and Wales, have also sharply risen in recent years.