A man from Hove has been given a suspended prison sentence after he attacked a transgender woman in St James’s Street, in Brighton.
Philip Poole, 41, a cleaner, of Shirley Street, Hove, verbally abused 25-year-old Connie McLaughlan and punched her and pulled her hair.
When a police officer, PC Rachel Standing, responded to a call for help by a member of the public, he also hurled abuse at her too.
Poole pleaded guilty to common assault and intentional harassment, alarm and distress when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
He was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and required to carry out up to 25 days of rehabilitation activity.
Poole was fined £40 for having a go at PC Standing and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £45 and a victim surcharge of £115.
The court also ordered Poole to pay £255 compensation for the assault.
Sussex Police hate crime sergeant Peter Allan said: “I am pleased the court has convicted the defendant in this case. No one should be targeted in this way because of who they are.
“This sentence sends out a clear signal that we will take a robust approach to those who target individuals based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. I hope this case will encourage other victims of hate to report such behaviour to the police.
“What was really pleasing to me in relation to this case is that four members of the public came to the assistance of the victim, one of who called the police and waited with the victim until they arrived.
“You do not have to become physically involved to stand up to hate. Offering a supportive word and calling the police is more than most people would do.
“I wrote a letter of thanks to the member of the public, acknowledging her actions in supporting a fellow human being in their time of need.”
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