Teens deny hurling homophobia at gay bar with laughable excuse – and their judge was having none of it

Emma Powys Maurice
·2-min read

Two French teens were convicted of aggravated harassment after they hurled eggs, beer and homophobic slurs from a car window as they drove past a gay bar.

The youths splattered customers sitting on the terrace of the bar in downtown Clermont-Ferrand on 4 May, 2019, accompanied by a minor who will be tried separately.

All three of the young men admitted to egging the customers and shouting anti-gay slurs, but the two men who appeared in court later changed their story.

Incredibly, one attempted to convince the judge that he didn’t hear himself shouting the homophobic slurs because the music in the car was too loud.

“I didn’t utter any insults,” claimed the driver, now aged 20, according to French paper Le Montagne. “The music was blazing in the car, I didn’t hear the insults.”

“Do you have hearing problems?” asked judge Charles Gouilhers. The defendant replied that he didn’t. “You have dishonesty problems, then,” Gouilhers said.

The second teen, now aged 19, also claimed he couldn’t remember hearing any homophobic slurs that day. “We were going around town, the eggs were a bad joke, but no, the insults, I don’t remember,” he said.

“We must therefore deduce that the customers were hearing voices,” the judge replied.

Prosecutor Marlène Roch noted that throwing eggs is a particularly humiliating act for the victims. But Anne Pacard, defending, said it was “particularly disagreeable” for the boys to be accused of homophobia when they are “not homophobic”.

“To be wrongly condemned for homophobic remarks when you are not is particularly unpleasant,” she argued.

The court ended up dropping the hate crime charges against the two men but found them guilty of aggravated harassment toward the gay bar’s customers.

The two elder defendants were sentenced to 105 hours of community service, while the third teen in the car will face charges in juvenile court.