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Jail for homophobic train abuse

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Blackpool Magistrates Court

A MAN who hurled homophobic abuse at two rail passengers on a Blackpool-bound train has been jailed for 18 weeks.

Ishmail Iqbal, 19, was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court having been found guilty of a public order offence at an earlier hearing.

The court heard that Iqbal had travelled, with a group of friends, on a Northern Rail service from Wigan to Blackpool North on 3 August this year.

As the train left Leyland station, Iqbal and his friends were heard, by another passenger, using homophobic language.

The man, who was offended by the conversation, asked the group to tone down their language.

At this point Iqbal, of Lythalls Lane, Coventry, became aggressive, directed his homophobic comments at the passenger and threatened him with a bottle.

PC Chris Haughton, of British Transport Police, said: “Despite being told that there was CCTV on board the train, Iqbal continued his homophobic and threatening behaviour,.

“The two victims left the carriage and reported the incident to BTP. The train was met at Blackpool North and Iqbal was arrested.”

PC Haughton added: “Rail passengers and staff have the right to travel and work in a safe environment, free from threatening or abusive behaviour.

“Iqbal’s behaviour during this journey was completely deplorable and has no place either on the railway or in society in general.

“The sentence handed down by the court clearly also demonstrates that the wider legal system views such behaviour in an equally dim light.”

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