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Five men charged in first prosecution for stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation

28/01/2011

Five men have now been charged with stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, in the first prosecution of its kind since legislation came into force in March 2010.

Ihjaz Ali, 41, Mehboob Hussain, 44, and Umar Javed, 38, were charged today at Derby Magistrates Court with stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Two other men, Razwan Javed, 30 and Kabir Ahmed, 27, were charged with the same offence yesterday.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Sue Hemming said: "We authorised Derbyshire Police to charge these men with offences of distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. The charges relate to the distribution of a leaflet, The Death Penalty?, outside the Jamia Mosque in Derby in July 2010 and through letterboxes during the same month.

"This is the first ever prosecution for this offence and it is the result of close working between the Crown Prosecution Service and Derbyshire Police.

"Following complaints from the public, Derbyshire Police mounted a thorough investigation. We have carefully reviewed the evidence provided by the police and are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge these men."

The five men will appear together at Derby Magistrates Court on 14 February.

It is an offence under section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986 to distribute threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Ali, Hussain and Umar Javed appeared at Derby Magistrates' Court this morning after having been charged in December with three counts each of an offence of sending letters, etc, with intent to cause distress or anxiety under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988.
  2. Ihjaz Ali was also charged in December with three offences, contrary to section 5 (b) of the Public Order 1986 in relation to the distribution of leaflets outside the Jamia Mosque.
  3. This morning, Ihjaz Ali was charged with four counts of distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, contrary to section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986.
    Mehboob Hussain was also charged with two counts contrary to section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986.
    Umar Javed was also charged with two counts contrary to section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986.
    Razwan Javed was charged yesterday with one count contrary to section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986.
    Kabir Ahmed  was charged yesterday with one count contrary to section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986.
  4. The Public Order Act 1986 was amended by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 to create the offence of intentionally stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. This complements the existing offences under the 1986 Act of intentionally stirring up hatred on religious grounds.
  5. The Attorney General must consent to a prosecution for an offence of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, contrary to section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986. His consent was given this week.
  6. This offence carries a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment and/or a fine of £5,000 at the magistrates court or seven years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine at the Crown Court.
  7. See the CPS legal guidance on prosecuting cases of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation
  8. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  9. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  10. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 12 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Counter-Terrorism, Organised Crime and Special Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  11. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website
  12. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media