A WOMAN hurled threatening and transphobic comments at another woman as she walked along Southend seafront.

Annabel Forbes admitted using threatening behaviour at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

It comes after the 23-year-old, of Prince Avenue, in Southend, threw the insults at a woman in Eastern Esplanade, at about 10pm on Friday.

The incident has caused fury in the LGBT+ community, with leaders branding the behaviour appalling.

Sam Adams, 54, chair of Southend Pride said people should be able to walk down the street without being abused for who they are.

She said: “This is disgusting, and we all have the right to exist and walk about our home towns without being subjected to abuse like this.

“It’s abysmal and nobody should have to deal with this sort of thing.

“I am pleased to see it was taken further and there was a prosecution as it shows people it’s not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

“When this happens it also reminds us why we need to have LGBT+ pride and that these incidents are still happening. There are some parts of Southend that are inclusive, but I think everyone in the LGBT+ community would have second thoughts about walking down the street holding the hand of a same sex partner.

“I think it’s so important for members of the LGBT+ community to have somewhere safe to go, and at Southend Pride we have ambassadors and anyone can always contact us.”

Mark Flewitt, Southend’s deputy mayor who is gay said this is not the sort of behaviour that’s acceptable anywhere let alone in Southend.

He said: “I think it’s horrifying that people like this feel they have a right to do this because of who someone is.

“The seriousness of this has been highlighted by the judge in the sentence, and I am pleased about that. I hope this person realises this is not the sort of thing we want in our town and also that this is not the way to act at all.

“What goes on between consensual adults or what a consenting adult does or how they chose to live their life is nothing do to with anyone else.”

A spokesman for Essex Police confirmed the incident was treated as a hate crime and Forbes was handed a 12-month community order, adding: “She has also been ordered to complete 60 hours unpaid work and to pay £150 compensation. It follows reports that transphobic comments were made to a woman in Eastern Esplanade at around 10pm on Friday.”