Man receives sentence uplift for racially aggravated offence

22/08/2017

Ross McFarlane, 31, from Portsmouth was sentenced a total of 8 weeks' imprisonment at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on August, 5, 2017, after pleading guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence.

James Burnham, Hate Crime Coordinator for CPS Wessex said: "This case was a clear example where a defendant chose to use deliberately hurtful and abusive racist language towards a shop employee originally from Ivory Coast who was simply doing his job, for no other reason than to cause offence. The victim in his statement said Ross McFarlane verbally abused him a very hostile manner, which he found highly offensive and said that 'it was a hurtful and personal attack, which has made him feel angry'. The victim added that it was the first time he had encountered a racist attack since he had come to the UK. He enjoyed the freedom that living in Britain gives him to be fully himself.

"At the sentencing hearing, we made representations to the court that the offence was racially aggravated and applied for a sentence uplift. The Magistrates’ Court after hearing evidence in the case decided that Ross McFarlane’s initial 6 weeks' imprisonment should be increased to 8 weeks. They also ordered him to pay the victim £50 compensation for the hurt caused by the offence."

Notes to editors

The incident occurred outside a store on Winston Churchill Avenue in Portsmouth on the 5th July 2017 ,where Ross McFarlane, who was intoxicated with alcohol was involved in an altercation with the victim who was in the store.

This case is part of our CPS Hate  Crime Campaign, #hatecrimematters