A man who hurled homophobic abuse and spat at police officers threatened to burgle a judge as he was sentenced.
Christopher Tweed, a 35-year-old from the southeast town of Chatham, England, yelled threats from the dock at Canterbury Crown Court.
According to KentOnline, Tweed was dubbed “out of control” and a “public menace” by the judge, who handed down a custodial term of two years and nine months, following the outburst.
“If I ever find out where you live,” Tweed said, “I’m going to come around and burgle your house.”
Malicious Christopher Tweed showed ‘malice’ towards gay people, says police officer
Christopher Tweed was put on trial after a litany of offences that included being in possession of a blade in the Stembrook neighbourhood of Dover in April 2020.
While in the coastal town, he deliberately spat on two Devon and Cornwall Police offers as he declared he had coronavirus and launched homophobic slurs at them.
“Every day I live in fear of passing the virus to my wife, who has asthma, and children at home,” said PC Gilbert, one of the two cops.
“Spitting is disgusting.”
The other officer, PC Doble, added: “Although I’m not homosexual, I found the term offensive. I’m not insulted if he thinks I’m homosexual.
“But I am insulted by his malice towards people who are homosexual.”
As prosecutors recounted his often hot-tempered lawbreaking, Tweed interrupted proceedings by vowing to continue committing crimes.
“I will come out [of prison] and do exactly the same thing,” he said in court.
His eruption prompted judge Rupert Lowe to reprimand Tweet as he said: “I’m sorry that this is the attitude that you take.”
After threatening Lowe with burglary, the judge asked for Tweed to be sent back to the cells.
Among his other wrongs, Tweed on the same day that he spat at officers harassed a staff member at a Boots along Biggin Street.
Abbey Jones was left “shaking fear,” prosecutors said, as Tweed raged: “I want to smash your face in.” He targeted her again while in the supermarket Morrisons on Bridge Street.
Christopher Tweed, who has 148 previous convictions, was also kicked out of a St James Street pub by the landlord for alleged anti-social behaviour. He berated the landlord instead of leaving, the court heard, and skewered him with homophobic slurs.
“I’m sorry to say that up until you were remanded in custody in February you were out of control and you were a public menace,” judge Lowe said, handing Tweed a seven-year restraining order as well.
“And you have been out of control for the majority of your adult life.”
It comes amid a tense time in Britain as anti-LGBT+ hate crime has soared in recent years. Between 2020 and 2021, there were at least 19,679 crimes motivated by hatred for someone’s sexual orientation, according to police figures.
This was part of a wider increase of 210 per cent in LGBT+ hate crime and harassment between 2014 and 2021.
But anti-queer hate crimes remain vastly underreported. Nine in 10 queer victims do not report the incident to the authorities, per government figures.