Two teens scream homophobic abuse at woman in Co-op supermarket

A woman was left in tears after two teenagers followed her around a supermarket screaming homophobic abuse at her before waiting for her outside.

Lucy, 38 – who asked to be known only by her first name – said the vile attack happened as she was shopping in Co-op supermarket in Hunts Cross on March 24.

The abuse got so bad, the two girls were eventually thrown out of the stores by staff.

Lucy told the ECHO : "I was only picking up a couple of bits for our tea that night.

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"There were two teenage girls in there looking at themselves in the two-way mirror by the store room.

"As soon as they spotted me they started saying – and excuse my language – 'look at this f*****g dirty L****.'

"They basically followed me around the Co-op shouting abuse at me."

She added: "Things like this haven't happened to me since the early 2000s.

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"I was shocked to be honest, and hurt as well."

Lucy said staff spotted the teenagers she said were both around 14-16 years old and came to her aid.

She said: "I think they must have been in there causing trouble anyway and they spotted me and went for me.

"It's quite a shock really. I mean I'm not exactly the most feminine person but I wouldn't say I deserved that at all.

"The security guard followed them with another member of staff. He then asked them to leave and they were saying, 'what are you going to do about it?'"

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It was only the security guard's threat to call the police that made the teenagers leave the store.

However, they waited outside for Lucy to finishing her shopping before carrying on their foul homophobic tirade which continued until she got to her car.

Lucy added: "I got home and I was totally shell shocked. I just burst into tears and I'm 38-years old, I'm not like a kid and bullying should be left well behind.

"Obviously I'm worried about going back again in case they're there. Even though they were asked to leave they were still waiting outside for me.

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"I shouldn't be scared of looking over my shoulder. People need to think before they speak.

"They could say something to somebody who is already on the edge and that could be the final point where somebody goes and takes their own life because of abuse like that.

"Not that I would but somebody more vulnerable could."

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police confirmed the incident had been reported and an investigation is underway.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised within this piece, there are many charities and organisations throughout Merseyside and the UK working to support victims of hate crime.

Stop Hate UK is a leading national organisation working to challenge all forms of hate crime and discrimination. 0800 138 1625

Hopenot Hate is an advocacy group which uses research, education and public engagement to challenge mistrust and racism and help to rebuild communities. info@hopenothate.org.uk.

The Anthony Walker Foundation aims to promote diversity and racial harmony in Merseyside through education, sport and the arts. 0151 237 3974

Stonewall campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people throughout the UK.

The LGBT Foundation is a national charity which provides advice, support and information services to the LGBT community. 0345 330 30 30 or helpline@lgbt.foundation

The Michael Causer Foundation provides education, motivation and accommodation for the LGBT community within Merseyside. 0151 528 2808 or info@michaelcauserfoundation.org.uk

Mermaids UK provides family and individual support for gender diverse and transgender children and young people throughout the UK. 0808 801 0400 or info@mermaidsuk.org.uk.

Daisy Inclusive UK is a Merseyside based charity which works to promote disability awareness and provide support for disabled individuals within the area. 0151 261 0309 or info@daisyuk.com

United Response is a UK based charity which provides personalised care and support to people with learning disabilities, mental health needs, autism and physical disabilities. 0800 0884 377

Scope is a disability equality charity in England and Wales. 0808 800 3333 or helpline@scope.org.uk.

Changing Lives is a national charity based in the North East that has been supporting vulnerable people for 45 years. 0191 273 8891.

Streetwise provides practical and emotional support to street sex workers. info@imagineiftrust.org.

Victim Support is an independent charity which aims to help people rebuild their lives after a traumatic event. 0808 1689 111

They said: "We were contacted on Wednesday, March 24 by a woman who reported that at around 5.25pm that day two females, believed to be teenagers, had made homophobic remarks to her in the Co-op supermarket on Speke Road in Woolton.

"Security staff at the store asked the females to leave and they left on foot.

"Enquiries into the incident are underway.

Anyone with any information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111 quoting log 880 of 24th March.

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