Transgender woman attacked on first night ‘out’ in Liverpool tells victims of hate crime not to feel scared about coming forward
The 25-year-old was punched by yob Ryan Kenny in unprovoked attack near Lime Street station
A transgender woman who was attacked on the day she was ‘out’ for the first time today encouraged other hate crime victims to step forward.
The 25-year-old was punched twice and had her wig ripped off by yob Ryan Kenny just after leaving a support group meeting in the city.
His victim, whom the ECHO is not naming, said she initially felt scared of reporting the crime to the police – but was now glad she did.
She called on other victims of hate crime to feel confident in coming forward.
She said: “I’d like to encourage other victims like me to report hate crime because saying or doing something violent or abusive to someone because of their gender identity is a serious crime.
“People who are perceived to be different still deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect just like anyone else. I didn’t deserve to be subjected to verbal and physical abuse by Ryan Kenny so I decided not to put up with it and reported him to the police.
“I know that some people can have difficulties finding the courage to make that report, or work out who to go to for help.
“But I’d like to say that you don’t really have anything to worry about. Firstly, you’ve not done anything wrong, someone else has, so don’t blame yourself.
“Secondly, you don’t have to contact the police directly to make your report. You can use a third party organisation like Stop Hate UK who can give you plenty of advice and support first. I did choose to report it directly but I actually found the phone operator really friendly and supportive. It was like I was talking to someone I knew and that helped.
“Everyone else I spoke to from that point onwards, from the officer who took my statement to my hate crime investigator, has been the same and nothing has ever been done that wasn’t in my best interests.
“I do understand why people feel scared or nervous about reporting a hate crime against them – I know I did – but I hope this case gives other victims a glimpse into what happens when you do find the courage to do it.
“Nothing bad can come from reporting a hate crime against you and I am actually glad that I did.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard how Kenny from Bridge Street, Birkenhead, pulled his victim’s wig off and swiped at her with it up to 20 times.
She was punched twice in the face before her make-up bag was then stolen.
Det Insp Phil Mahon, from Merseyside Police’s Sigma hate crime unit, praised the victim from her bravery in coming forward.
He said: “She was making her way home from a night out, ironically at a support group for transgender people.
“It was her first night out dressed as a woman and she was put through a horrendous physically and verbal attack, and had her property stolen.
“It has taken a lot of bravery on her part to come forward to work with us and the Crown Prosecution Service to bring this aggressive, violent individual to justice.”
Sentencing Kenny to 16 months in a young offenders institution for the assault and four months for the theft, to be served consecutively, judge Brian Lewis described the “disgraceful attack” as “humiliating, degrading and persistent”.
He told Kenny: “She was targeted because she was transgender and the attack was completely unprovoked.”