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‘Bus driver called us f*ggots as we crossed Queensbridge Road’

PUBLISHED: 15:48 30 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:15 30 January 2017

Ben Dilks.

Ben Dilks.

Archant

Police are investigating claims a bus driver shouted “f*ggots” repeatedly at two men who crossed in front of his bus.

Ben Dilks, 24, said the driver of the 236 leant out of his window to launch the homophobic abuse after almost hitting him and his friend on a zebra crossing in Queensbridge Road.

“The bus driver didn’t slow down but we didn’t think much of it,” said Ben, editor of thinktank Policy Network. “Then we heard shouting and turned around to see the driver leaning right out of the window screaming ‘f****ts’ repeatedly.

“I’ve been shouted at in the street before but certainly never by somebody who was at work.

“He sped off but I ran and caught up with the bus at the next stop and took a picture of his registration.

“He seemed so angry I was momentarily fearful that he might get out of the bus and attack us.”

Ben, who was left “deeply shocked and upset”, has now written to bus company Tower Transit to officially complain about the incident, which happened on Saturday afternoon at about 3.40pm. TfL is also investigating.

In the email, seen by the Gazette, he said: “I have no idea whether the fact that the driver failed to slow down at the zebra crossing was motivated by his apparent hatred of mine and my friend’s sexuality.

“But, in any case, I am certain that anyone who is capable of losing their temper so spectacularly at the wheel, for whatever reason, should not be in charge of any vehicle.

“I am also particularly unsettled at the use of such a homophobic slur. I have always found bus drivers to be very patient and tolerant in the face of many challenges, and have never felt discriminated against.”

Hackney police have not made any arrests.

A spokesman said: “Hate crime will not be tolerated and we always encourage people to report incidents of this nature via 101 or Crimestoppers.”


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