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 August 2017, but relates to cases from June and July 2017.

Increased fine over homophobic abuse in Lewes

A woman has been given an increased fine, after yelling homophobic abuse at a man in Lewes.

The incident happened during a row over parking outside a shop. Following a trial, the woman was convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. Had it not been for the homophobic nature of the comments, she would only have fined £166. She was also ordered to pay £250 and a victim surcharge of £30.

A restraining order was also imposed, meaning she cannot park outside the victim’s shop for two years.

Couple convicted over disability hate crime in Horsham

A couple were left with additional fines to pay, after being found guilty of verbally abusing a severely disabled man in Horsham.

The victim cannot walk unaided and needs crutches and a mobility scooter to get around. In January 2017, he was with a friend and they went shopping, but when they returned home, a car was blocking his way and he could not get by in his scooter. This is a problem that he had experienced previously.

As they stood there, verbal abuse was yelled from a window, related to the man’s disability and claimed he was not disabled.

Following a trial at Horsham Magistrates’ Court, the couple were both found guilty of a public order offence, although they were acquitted of two other charges of assault by battery. Sinclair was fined £450, while Peterson was fined £120. Both were ordered to pay £300 in costs. The fines were increased due to the fact that they had shouted abuse about the victim’s disability.

Increased over racial abuse in Kent court

A man has been jailed for 26 weeks after stripping naked outside a mosque and shouting racial and religious obscenities.

The man pleaded guilty to yelling the abuse and exposure. He was given a 26 week prison sentence for a racially aggravated public order offence and another 26 weeks to be served concurrently. He was also ordered to serve four weeks concurrently for the exposure charge.

Magistrates said they had given him the prison sentence because it was a racist and religious hate crime. Otherwise the sentence he received would have been suspended.

Additional unpaid work after homophobic abuse in Sevenoaks

A woman has been ordered to complete additional hours of unpaid work, after screaming homophobic abuse at a police officer while she was being arrested in Sevenoaks.

They were called to an incident of domestic abuse and verbally abused the officer on a number of occasions.

She pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer, obstructing a police officer and a public order offence. She was given an 18 month community order and was told she would have to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work. Without the homophobic abuse, the sentence would have been 80 hours.

Prison over racial abuse and criminal damage in Chertsey

A man has been given a 14 week jail sentence, after yelling racist abuse at a man at his home in Chertsey and causing criminal damage.

The victim was woken up by someone screaming and shouting in his back garden. He called the police and then saw the man picking up items such as plant pots and throwing them at the conservatory windows of his home, causing them to smash.

Magistrates told the man that his sentence would originally have been 16 weeks, but because of the racist element of his crime, it was being increased to 21 weeks. However, because the man pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, it was then reduced to 14 weeks.

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.