Hate crime successes publicised - July 2016

28/07/2016

CPS South East has compiled a set of examples to demonstrate how we prosecute hate crimes.

Attack on a man in a wheelchair in Rochester, Kent

Matthew Hunter was given a 120 day jail term, suspended for 12 months, after pleading guilty at Medway Magistrates Court to attacking a man in a wheelchair outside a pub in Rochester.

He approached the man outside the Jolly Knight in the High Street on a Friday night and challenged him about why he needed the wheelchair. He then picked the man up from his wheelchair and let go of him, with the victim falling to the ground.

A witness saw Hunter stand over the victim and heard the defendant demand that the victim stand up from the floor, but the victim could not stand unaided because of his disabilities.

Hunter was also ordered to undertake alcohol treatment for six months, was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of 115, costs of £85 and compensation of £150.

Magistrates said Hunter would not necessarily have received a jail term without the disability hate crime element.

Boy put under nightly curfew after making homophobic comments in Dover, Kent

A 15 year old boy was handed a 12 month youth rehabilitation order and was put under a nightly curfew for three months after pleading guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior to cause harassment, alarm or distress towards a lesbian couple in Dover.

They were walking home late on a Friday night when they came across the boy, who asked for a cigarette. He then asked them questions about their sexuality and became insulting when he discovered they were a couple. Police were called to the scene and the boy continued to make homophobic comments to the two victims and towards the police officers.

Had there been no element of homophobic hate crime, the magistrates said he would have received a shorter order of nine months. He was also ordered to pay compensation to both his victims.

Man handed community order after yelling transphobic abuse in Brighton, Sussex

A man who twice abused a trans woman in shops in Brighton has been ordered to carry out 55 hours of unpaid work.

On the first occasion, comments were made to the woman in a supermarket and then abuse was hurled at her in November 2015, leaving her feeling scared and intimidated. Three months later, the victim recognised the man who had previously yelled abuse at her.

Sullivan was also ordered to pay £150 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Man given community order for yelling racial abuse at man in Newhaven, Sussex

A man who racially abused a security guard at a supermarket in Newhaven was handed a 12 month community order.

Charlie Cooper was ordered by the court to carry out 25 days of rehabilitation activity requirement, which are activity days promoting rehabilitation.

The court said they had increased this from 20 days due to the racial element of the crime. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs, victim surcharge of 85 and compensation of £50.

In all these cases, a sentencing uplift was applied, which increases the sentence for any offence where a defendant showed hostility or an offence is shown to have been motivated by hostility based on age, disability, homophobia and transphobia or racist and/or religious grounds.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, Jaswant Narwal said: "Hate crimes are one of the most insidious cases we deal with. The victims are targeted because of their disability, race, religion and sexual orientation and there is no place in our society for crimes like this. The whole criminal justice system works together to ensure perpetrators of these crimes are given increased sentences, as happened in this case, sending out a message that we will not tolerate any form of hate crime."

She added: "If anyone feels they have been a victim of a hate crime, I would urge them to come forward and report it, so that it can be prosecuted and those responsible brought to justice."