Anti-gay abuse in Tasmania results in jail sentence

A Tasmanian court has sentenced a woman guilty of anti-gay abuse to a suspended sentence of six weeks in prison.

The couple, Tony and Doug (not their real names), were victims of the women’s constant abuse for over a year after they moved in next door to her in a southern Tasmanian town.

They have welcomed the decision saying they hope it will encourage other LGBTIQA+ people to report hate-motivated attacks.

Tony said the they welcomed the court’s decision.

“We had a harrowing time with daily verbal abuse and damage to property over a period of more than a year.”

“We are very glad with the court decision because it shows homophobic abuse has consequences.”

“We urge all LGBTIQA+ people who experience hate-motivated abuse to report it to police.”

“The process of bringing abusers to justice isn’t always easy, but it is necessary if we are to stop abuse and create a more accepting society.”

In the Hobart Magistrates Court the abuser was given a six week prison sentence suspended for two years subject to good behaviour. If she offends again she will go directly to jail.

Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Rodney Croome, welcomed the decision saying it was not a lone occurrence.

“I know of many LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians who have endured this kind of abuse from neighbours. This case has set a precedent that will hopefully deter other abusers.”

“The outcome has been appropriate, but there are still issues raised by how long it took for the case to go to court.”

“Tasmania Police generally responded well, but they could do better.”

“Seeing the pattern of the abuse rather than a series of individual incidents, recording hate as a motive for abuse and assigning victims with a single case number would help streamline the police response.”

Tony and Doug have also lodged a complaint under the Anti-Discrimination Act. That complaint is ongoing.

Read more about the couple’s experience at The Examiner.

OIP Staff

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