Man convicted of racially abusing passenger on Birmingham bus

20/01/2016

A 49-year-old man from Quinton has today been sentenced to 28 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Birmingham Magistratesí Court after pleading guilty to an offence of racially abusing a female on a bus.

On 24 November 2015, Robert Porter was a passenger on the number 50 bus which was travelling along the Alcester Road in Moseley into the city centre.

The victim boarded the bus and sat at the rear of the bus on the lower deck near to the defendant.

As she sat down, Porter began to direct racially offensive comments towards the victim and threatened to harm her.

Fearing for her safety, the victim got off the bus two stops from her intended stop, but before she did, she managed to take a photo of Porter on her smartphone.

The matter was referred to the police and the defendant was subsequently identified and arrested. He was charged with two counts of racial / religious aggravated harassment and subsequently pleaded guilty to these charges.

Lionel Idan, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Being targeted because of who you are and or your beliefs can have a real and lasting effect on individuals, communities and society as a whole. Racist and religious crime is particularly hurtful to victims since they have been targeted solely because of their personal identity, their actual or perceived racial or ethnic origin or their actual or perceived belief or faith.

"People from all communities have a right to be protected from the prejudice and hatred that lies at the heart of such hate crimes and as today's conviction shows, the Crown Prosecution Service is determined to play its part in ensuring that those who commit such offences are brought to justice.

"To this end, we have specialist hate crime prosecutors who are experienced in dealing with hate crime cases.

"Where the evidence in a case is sufficient to demonstrate hostility based on a person's actual or perceived race or religion, our prosecutors will ensure that this is highlighted to the courts as an aggravating factor. Racial or religious aggravation makes an offence more serious and the courts have a duty to take this into account when sentencing a defendant."