Disgust over yob’s gay rant

Stephen Brookes, who has condemned a homophobic rant aimed at a couple on a Blackpool train.
Stephen Brookes, who has condemned a homophobic rant aimed at a couple on a Blackpool train.
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A HATE crime campaigner today condemned the “appalling” abuse hurled at a gay couple on a Blackpool train.

Tyrone Ruscoe and Alex Patterson were the victims of a horrific tirade of homophobic comments as they waited on the platform at Blackpool North on Sunday night.

And the abuse continued after they boarded the train to Manchester – where the pair captured it on a YouTube video which has now had more than 35,000 hits.

It shows the 56-year-old man calling 22-year-old Mr Ruscoe and his friend Mr Patterson, 26, “queers” and using other homophobic slurs and offensive language towards them.

The attacker then threatens to “whack” the pair.

And today Stephen Brookes, chairman of Blackpool’s passenger focus panel and a national leader on hate crime, said: “This is pretty appalling.

“It is a dire example of the way hostility occurs on public transport to a massive extent.

“I think there should have been a charge in this case because this was hate crime.”

British Transport Police have confirmed a 56-year-old man from Manchester was arrested just before midnight on Sunday, and has since been cautioned in relation to the incident.

Mr Ruscoe, who is from Gorton, in Manchester, said: “Alex and I had been sharing a coat because it was freezing cold and the man took offence to that.

“The man said that if he had a son who was gay he would burn him and that God didn’t create men to be gay.

“I felt angry and upset so I left.

“Another lesbian woman left the carriage because she was so upset by the man.”