Gay couple in Devon called 'abomination' for holding hands

Updated: Mar 15


IAIN MAHMOOD-BROWN image captionWahaj and Iain Mahmood-Brown were subjected to homphobic abuse while walking together near Plymouth

A gay couple holding hands say they were called "an abomination" while on a walk.

Iain and Wahaj Mahmood-Brown were on a cliff top path near Plymouth when they were subjected to homophobic abuse.

The man who abused them was smiling at the time and uttered the words "calmly", the couple said.

They have reported the incident to Devon and Cornwall Police, who said homophobic crimes were "all too prevalent".

The police said the case, which they treated as a hate crime, had been investigated as far as possible with no arrests made.


IAIN MAHMOOD-BROWN image caption The couple were holding hands when they were abused

Iain Mahmood-Brown said: "We were holding hands, it was a nice day and we were just enjoying the otherwise peace and quiet by the beach.

"But as we passed this guy, he quite calmly turned around, smiled and looked at us and said 'you know you're an abomination'."

Mr Mahmood-Brown said their response at the time was to ignore him because they "didn't want to engage" with abuse.

He said they found the abuse "strange more than threatening" as it had been some time since they had experienced anything similar.


IAIN MAHMOOD-BROWN image caption The incident was investigated by police as a hate crime

Mr Mahmood-Brown explained he spoke about the incident publicly to raise awareness of the abuse and other problems LGBT people still face in the UK, despite the public perception "everything is fine".

"But I think it's also important to remember that when I did post about it on social media, the amount of supportive messages and the kindness that people show on social media was really overwhelming," he added.

Sgt Dylan Bristow from Devon and Cornwall Police said: "We see a lot of crimes that are reported in relation to people's sexual orientation.

"Unfortunately it's all too prevalent in society at the moment."

Sgt Bristow said homophobic crimes were under-reported and urged any victims to get in touch with police.

Published 27 November 2020 Sources : Original article : https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-55093157

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