Vicious hate attack on lesbian couple in Hartlepool takeaway

editorial image

A HOMOPHOBIC thug has been jailed after launching a hate attack on a lesbian couple in a takeaway.

Keith Anderson delivered an uppercut to one woman and headbutted her girlfriend when she tried to intervene.

The victims are now thinking about moving out of Hartlepool because of the shocking assault, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Anderson, 26, who had been drinking, turned on Vikki Unsworth and Leanne Mahoney as he was being ordered to leave the takeaway for arguing with staff.

Miss Unsworth, who knew Anderson, tried to avoid making eye contact with him as she thought he was looking for a fight.

But he said to her ‘what are you looking at you lesbian’ before attacking her.

The court was told he was “bouncing around” the takeaway like a boxer.

Sue Jacobs, prosecuting, said: “Anderson punched Miss Unsworth to the face with a uppercut in a clenched fist that caused her head to snap back.

“Then he punched her once again to the face. She tried to defend herself from him while he repeatedly threw punches at her.”

Miss Mahoney tried to protect Miss Unsworth by grabbing Anderson’s shoulder but one of his friends pulled her away.

“The defendant turned round to face her then headbutted Miss Mahoney in the face,” added Miss Jacobs.

“Miss Mahoney stated at the start that the defendant said to Miss Unsworth ‘what are you looking at you lesbian’ and added he began bouncing around like a boxer and was shouting to Miss Unsworth ‘you fat lesbian’.

“Then he turned round to Miss Mahoney and made an offensive comment.”

Miss Mahoney suffered a cut to her bottom lip and one of her front teeth was knocked loose, while Miss Unsworth escaped with just bumps and bruises.

In a victim impact statement she said she believed she targeted because of her sexuality and was disgusted.

Miss Jacobs added both women are considering moving out of town because of it.

Anderson, of Throston Grange Lane, Hartlepool admitted two common assault charges.

Just seven weeks before the January 13 attack he was given a suspended prison sentence for assaulting a reveller with a pool ball inside a sock.

Tamara Pawson, mitigating, said Anderson had a drink problem that was at the root of most of his offending.

She said: “He was under the influence at the time the offence was committed. He has little recollection of the events.”

Jailing Anderson for 12 months, Judge Howard Crowson said: “It was an unpleasant attack.”