Two sentenced for their parts in racially aggravated assault and abuse on Manchester tram


A 19 year old man has today been sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment at Manchester City magistrates' court for racially aggravated assault and verbal abuse of a man on a tram, and verbal threats and assault of two other men in the street in Manchester city centre on 28th June 2016. A youth defendant was also given a six month referral order at the youth court yesterday.

Robert Molloy's sentence was doubled from 12 weeks to 24 weeks due to the court acknowledging the severity of the racial element of the offence. He was also given a two year Criminal Behaviour Order with conditions not to associate with his co-defendants and not to use the Metrolink. 20 year old Aaron Cauchi will be sentenced at a later date.

Aaron Cauchi, Robert Molloy and the 16 year old boy used offensive language and racially abused a fellow passenger on the tram which was heading into Manchester City centre at 7.45am. They took another tram away from the city centre before getting off at Cornbrook where they threatened a man who was waiting at the tram stop. They then targeted a cyclist on Chester Road where one of them spat at him.

Joseph O'Connor, Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: "The three defendants pleaded guilty to what can only be described as an abusive rampage on a summer morning in Manchester City centre.

"By their own admissions they had been up all night and were still drinking from beer bottles on the tram which was packed with commuters and young children during the early morning rush hour.

"After Robert Molloy began rapping loudly using sexual expletives, a fellow passenger objected to the language being used and asked them to be quiet. After hearing his American accent, all three then turned their attention upon him and Robert Molloy bombarded him with a shocking tirade of racial abuse. He told him he was an immigrant and that he should go back to where he came from. Molloy also threw the contents of his bottle of beer in the man's direction whilst all three asked him to get off the tram to continue the confrontation, which could easily have escalated to violence.

"They then ran off and a short while later boarded another tram to take them away from the scene. When they disembarked they aggressively surrounded a man before throwing a lighter at him. Finally they targeted a third man as he cycled to work along Chester Road, they advanced upon him and spat at him before he was able to cycle way from them.

"I hope that this case serves as a warning that such behaviour will not be tolerated in our cities. Those who live and work in the city and those who use public transport have the right to do so safely and without fear of receiving such abhorrent abuse.

"The CPS is committed to tackling all offences which create public disorder but particularly those where the victims are abused merely because of their ethnicity or colour. We will continue to work closely with the police to ensure that those who commit such offences will be brought before the courts and robustly prosecuted."

Individual charges:

  • Robert Molloy pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault, Section 4 public order and assault and was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay £400 Prosecution Costs and 50 compensation to each victim. His prison sentence was doubled due to the court applying an uplift under Section 145 of the 2003 Criminal Justice Act.
  • The youth defendant pleaded guilty to Section 5 public order, Section 4 public order and assault and was given a six month referral order and ordered to pay £100 Prosecution Costs, and £20 to each victim.
  • Aaron Cauchi pleaded guilty to Section 5 public order, Section 4 public order and assault and will be sentenced at a later date