A COUPLE have been handed 12-month community orders for hurling homophobic abuse in an ongoing dispute between neighbours.

Lacey Lee, 24, and her boyfriend Gary Corness, 32, were both convicted of public order offences for abusing the victim in the communal garden of Warburton Close, Brighton.

Lee is the daughter of the victim’s neighbour. In addition to the homophobic abuse, she also threatened to smash the victim’s CCTV cameras.

Crimes motivated wholly or partly by hostility based on perceived religion, race, sexual orientation or disability are eligible for an uplifted sentence.

In this case, Lee was given a six-week curfew increased from four weeks.

Corness was ordered to undertake 110 hours of unpaid work - an increase from 90 hours.

Lee Crozier, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The victim in this case was met with a barrage of abuse from the two defendants, including homophobic comments, after saying hello to his neighbours. This is not something anyone should expect to have to encounter.

“The CPS is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms, as this sort of abuse is completely unacceptable.”