An autistic teen in Britain has been convicted and fined for asking aloud if a transgender male police officer was “a boy” or “a girl.”
Declan Armstrong, 19, was found guilty of transgender abuse on Jan. 29 in Mold Magistrates’ Court in Wales. He was ordered to pay 590 pounds, or about $770, and given a 12-week nighttime curfew, Yahoo News reported.
Prosecuting attorney Rhian Jackson told the court that Armstrong was walking down the street with a friend in October when they passed Police Community Support Officer Connor Freel, 25. According to Jackson, Armstrong shouted “very loudly”: “Is it a boy or is it a girl?”
When Freel turned toward the pair, Armstrong repeated the question, leaving Freel “feeling upset and embarrassed,” Jackson said.
“To have something shouted at him that had such personal connotations whilst he was on his own in the middle of a public place that was rather busy due to market day footfall did leave him vulnerable, distressed, and embarrassed,” the prosecutor added.
Of the fine, 200 pounds [$260] will be paid to Freel, the Daily Mail reported.
Armstrong, who is from the town of Mold, denied making the comments. He was convicted of using abusive or insulting words with intent to harass, which is a “public order offense.”
Autistic teen convicted, fined for transgender abuse in Britain
Defense attorney Gary Harvey, however, said Armstrong has Asperger syndrome, a non-technical term for high-functioning autism, and is not “transphobic.”
“He doesn’t hold any prejudice against anyone in society,” defense attorney Gary Harvey said.