A Scottish pensioner has admitted to subjecting a gay couple to an angry, homophobic tirade when he became enraged at the sight of them holding hands.
Peter Kerr, 76, hurled abuse at Andrew McCusker and William Shankey-Smith for approximately half an hour when he saw them together in Glasgow on Burns Night earlier this year.
The foul-mouthed man repeatedly screamed at the pair in the street, calling them “bent p***y b*****ds”, “c**ts” and “p**fs” as Shankey-Smith filmed him on his phone. He continued the homophobic abuse even after the police arrived on the scene.
Kerr was silent when charged, but when discussing solicitor access he stated: “Two guys kissing – what am I meant to say?”
Prosecutor Hannah Terrance said: “Both men were in a state of fear and alarm. They believed what was happening was due to their sexual orientation.”
“He hated me,” McCusker, a lawyer, wrote on social media after the incident. “He told me that. He snarled at me, told me that I was against the law, that I was f**king disgusting, for the best part of thirty minutes.
“This man saw me as one thing he despised; not as a brother, or a son, or grandson, or a friend, or whatever.”
Hopefully people will read this and know that we still have work to do, that homophobia is still there, and that we need to do more to support our local communities and minorities. And that anyone can be subjected to hate incidents and crimes.
— Drew McCusker (@mccusker_drew) January 27, 2020
McCusker described the ordeal as “a hugely upsetting and humiliating experience”, but felt obligated to report it to police as he and his partner are “two white middle-class cis gym-fit and strong men” in a position of privilege.
“I didn’t stop crying for thirty minutes after the arrest,” he admitted. “I don’t know if it was arrogance or hubris that made me think I wouldn’t be the victim of such an incident, or that it would upset me as much as it has.
“A positive outcome is that 15 people and businesses were really kind to and supportive of us during all this. 15 allies to one hateful man: the odds were/are in our favour. #PeopleMakeGlasgow safer and wonderful.”
Kerr appeared in Glasgow Sheriff Court and pled guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation. He will be sentenced at a later date.
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