CPS South East - tackling hate crime on your behalf

Here you can read details of some of the recent hate crime cases the CPS has prosecuted in the South East. This report was prepared in May 2017, but relates to cases from March and April 2017.

Suspended prison sentence for mocking a Surrey woman's disability

A man has been given a 12-week suspended prison sentence, after sending threatening text and photo messages and leaving voice mails for a woman with Down's Syndrome, in which he also mocked her disability.

The victim's personal impact statement was read to the court and it spoke about how the messages made her feel "frightened and confused because I didn't know what I had done wrong". She also talked about the incident left her having nightmares and how she felt she was being abused because of her disability "as if he thought I was an easy target".

The defendant was given a 12-week suspended jail term, which was increased by four weeks because of the hate crime element of the case. He was also given a 12-week curfew, again increased by four weeks for the same reason, and he was ordered to pay costs and compensation.

Fine over homophobic abuse in Seaford fast food restaurant

A man has been fined £200 after making homophobic comments to a worker in a fast food restaurant in Seaford.

The incident, which happened in December 2016, took place after the man asked for a cup and poured alcohol into it and then became abusive when he saw customers turning up to collect telephone orders and claimed he was being ignored.

Had it not been for the element of homophobia in this case, the defendant would only have been fined £120.

Prison after homophobic comments and punch-up at a pub in Newhaven

A man has been jailed for a total of 16 weeks after punching a man and shouting homophobic abuse at a pub in Newhaven.

Trouble flared on a Saturday night in December 2016 after the man was told he could only have one more drink. A number of people in the pub attempted to calm him down, but one of those was then punched in the face and he fell back over a table. He was left with a black eye.

The defendant was handed a 12-week custody sentence, which would only have been eight weeks, had it not been for the homophobic comments. He was jailed for a further four weeks in relation to a separate public order offence two days after the first had taken place.

Suspended prison sentence for transphobic attack in Brighton

A man has been given a 12-week suspended prison sentence after punching a transgender woman at a bus stop in Brighton.

The defendant walked past his victim and, when he realised she was transgender, he began to yell abuse at her. He then came up to her, punched her and pulled out her hair extensions. Several members of the public saw what was happening and screamed at the man to leave her alone and a man eventually managed to pull him off his victim.

The man was told by the courts that the hate crime element elevated his sentence to 18 weeks, but it was reduced to 12 weeks, due to an early guilty plea having been entered. The prison term was suspended for 12 months.

Fine over religious abuse in Staines

A man has been fined £500 and ordered to pay a total of £300 compensation to his victims, after yelling religious abuse at a Muslim cab controller in Staines. 

The incident happened in the early hours of a Saturday morning in March 2017, when the man, who was drunk, came into the victim's workplace. When he found out the victim's religion, he started to make derogatory comments towards him.

Had it not been for the religious hate crime element of the incident, the defendant would only have received a conditional discharge.

Additional fine for Kent man who yelled religious abuse

A man was given a fine after shouting religious abuse at the home of a family and subsequently at a police officer who arrested him.

The court fined him £90, but if there had been no religious abuse, this fine would only have been £60.  

Suspended prison sentence for racial abuse in Folkestone

A man has been handed a 17-week suspended prison sentence, after yelling racial abuse at a takeaway restaurant in Folkestone.

In February 2017, the man went into the premises and demanded a cigarette. The victim told him he did not smoke and asked him politely to leave, which he did. However, the defendant returned a couple of hours later, yelling racial abuse and threatening to attack the victim with a metal spike, used to put ticket orders on.

Had there been no racial abuse, the sentence would have been 26 weeks, rather than the starting point of 18 weeks. However, the defendant was given credit for his guilty plea at an early stage in the court process, which took the sentence back down to 17 weeks. This was suspended for two years.

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.