Hate Crime Sentencing Uplifts

07/04/2017

Read below the latest series of hate crime case studies involving sentencing uplifts.

Disability hate crime cases:

1. The defendant was a support worker at the care home in which the victim resides. She repeatedly kicked the victim under a table while others were present. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing to assault by beating and the ill treatment or wilful neglect of a person without capacity. She was sentenced to 12 weeks' imprisonment suspended for 12 months and 150 hours’ unpaid work, uplifted from a high level Community Order. She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. (South Yorkshire case.)

2. The two defendants attacked the victim, who has a learning disability and mental health issues, causing him to fall to the floor and break his elbow. They made comments about his disability immediately before the unprovoked attack. They pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm without intent. They were sentenced to a 24 month Youth Referral Order uplifted from 18 months, a three month curfew and a four week attendance centre requirement. Contact between the two defendants was also prohibited for two years. They were also ordered to pay £750 compensation to the victim and a Restraining Order was imposed. (South Yorkshire case.)

3. The defendant assaulted the victim, who is deaf, by dragging her across the floor, punching her in the head and biting her hand. Earlier that evening, he had been making fun of her disability. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to common assault and was sentenced to 22 weeks' imprisonment uplifted from 20 weeks. A Restraining Order was also imposed. (Humberside case.)

4. The Defendant created and posted two music videos online, which were seen by the victim, containing offensive lyrics about the victim’s disability. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing to using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to an £85 fine uplifted from £65. (West Yorkshire case.)

Religiously aggravated cases:

1. The defendant religiously abused two members of staff in a fast food restaurant. He was found guilty after trial of two counts of religiously aggravated fear or provocation of violence. He was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for each count to run concurrently, uplifted from three months. (West Yorkshire case.)

2. The defendant had collapsed in a shop doorway. He religiously abused and punched the shop owner, who tried to help him. He pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing and religiously aggravated common assault by beating. He was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order, a 10 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 40 hours’ unpaid work, uplifted from a fine. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case.)

3. The defendant was charged with religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing after chanting anti-Islamic chants at a political demonstration. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to a £300 fine uplifted from £200. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge. (South Yorkshire case.)

Racially aggravated cases:

1. The defendant spat at the complainant and shouted racist abuse at her in the street. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence. He was sentenced to a 12 month community order, 80 hours' unpaid work, £400 compensation and a two year restraining order. This was uplifted from a financial penalty. (West Yorkshire case.)

2. The defendant racially abused a member of door staff who refused her friend entry to the bar. She was charged with racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing and was convicted after trial. She was sentenced to a curfew order for six weeks, uplifted from a band C fine. She was also ordered to pay £50 compensation and £620 costs. (South Yorkshire case.)

3. The defendant became abusive on a bus, racially abusing the driver and a fellow passenger. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated intentional harassment by words. He was sentenced to eight weeks' imprisonment uplifted from six weeks. He was also ordered to pay £150 compensation. (South Yorkshire case.)

4. The youth defendant racially abused a shop keeper, who confronted him over stealing from his shop. He was found guilty after trial of racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to a six month Youth Referral Order, uplifted from a six month Reparation Order. He was ordered to pay £50 compensation and a Restraining Order was also imposed. (North Yorkshire case.)

5. The defendant was acting in a threatening manner towards a shop cashier. He then racially abused and threatened another member of staff, who had asked him to leave. He was charged with using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment alarm or distress in relation to the cashier and racially aggravated harassment by words in relation to the other victim. He was sentenced to a £75 fine, uplifted from £50. He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation and £85 costs. (West Yorkshire case.)

6. The defendant assaulted two police officers and racially abused a third police officer. She pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. She was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement for the resisting arrest and a £40 fine for the racially aggravated offence. There would have been no separate penalty for this had it not been racially aggravated. (West Yorkshire case.)

7. The defendant racially abused a member of staff in a petrol station and then shoplifted a number of items from another shop. He was charged with racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing for the first incident and theft from a shop for the second incident. He pleaded guilty to both offences and was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with a nine month drug rehabilitation requirement and a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement, uplifted from 10 months for the racially aggravating element. (West Yorkshire case.)

8. The defendant was involved in an altercation in the street, during which he shouted racial abuse at another group in front of police officers. He was charged with racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a £100 fine, uplifted from £70. (West Yorkshire case.)

9. The defendant shouted racial abuse at players at a football match and was aggressive towards those who challenged him. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to an £80 fine, uplifted from a band A to a band B fine. He was also ordered to pay £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs. (South Yorkshire case.)

10. The defendant confronted a group of males in the street and racially abused them. He was charged with racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 80 hours’ unpaid work, uplifted from 40 hours. He was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs. (Humberside case.)

11. The defendant racially abused a police officer after he had been taken into custody for another matter. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated harassment and was sentenced to a £160 fine, uplifted from £120. He was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs (Humberside case.)

12. The defendant racially abused and assaulted a member of hospital staff and assaulted a police officer. He was charged with racially aggravated common assault by beating and assaulting a constable in the execution of his duty. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to an 18 month Community Order, uplifted from 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £85 compensation and £85 costs. (North Yorkshire case.)

13. The defendant smashed a bottle outside the victim’s shop and racially abused the victim when he went outside to sweep up the glass. He was found guilty after trial of racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to a £100 fine uplifted from £80. He was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £310 costs. (North Yorkshire case.)

14. The defendant racially abused police officers who were called to remove him from outside a bar after he refused to leave. The defendant pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in a public place and racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to a £180 fine uplifted from a band D to a band C fine. He was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs. (North Yorkshire case.)

15. The defendant racially abused the victim during an altercation while the victim was parking her car. The defendant pleaded guilty on the day of trial to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. She was sentenced to a £125 fine uplifted from £85. She was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £250 costs. (West Yorkshire case.)

16. The four defendants racially abused the victim and his wife and child in a communal area outside their home. Two of the defendants punched and kicked the victim to the ground and one of the defendants threatened to hit the child with a stick. Two of the defendants pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment by words, one pleaded guilty to racially aggravated fear of violence by words and the fourth defendant was convicted after trial of racially aggravated common assault by beating. Sentence uplifts were applied to all four defendants, the most notable being 12 weeks’ imprisonment uplifted from eight weeks for the fourth defendant. (South Yorkshire case.)

17. The defendant behaved aggressively towards a hospital receptionist and racially abused her. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence by words or writing. He was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order 12 with 80 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 60 hours. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. (Humberside case.)

18. The defendant racially abused a member of staff in a takeaway shop. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to a £275 fine uplifted from a band A to a band C fine. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.  (Humberside case.)

19. The defendant racially abused his neighbours in an on-going neighbour dispute. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to a £120 fine uplifted from £80. He was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and a Restraining Order was imposed. (Humberside case.)

Transphobic cases:

1. The defendant saw the victim in a fast food restaurant and began to ask offensive questions about her gender and took some food off her tray. When the victim ignored him, he walked up to her and punched her in the face. He was charged with theft and assault by beating. He was found guilty of both charges and was sentenced to a 12 month Youth Referral Order with supervision, a three month curfew and a 24 day activity requirement uplifted from 12 days. He was also ordered to pay £100 costs, £50 compensation and a £20 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case.) 

2. The defendant was verbally abusive to a member of staff at a bus station on two occasions on the same day, making transphobic and homophobic comments towards her. He was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 50 hours’ unpaid work. This was uplifted from a fine only. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. (South Yorkshire case.)

Homophobic cases:

1. The defendant punched a paramedic who was assisting him and went on to verbally abuse him at the hospital, using homophobic language. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to assault by beating and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order and 120 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 90 hours. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case.)

2. The defendant banged on his neighbour’s front door and shouted homophobic abuse at him, which was recorded on a mobile phone. He pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with a 25 day rehabilitation activity requirement, uplifted from 20 days. He was also ordered to pay a £10 fine, an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs. (Humberside case.)

3. The defendant made hundreds of nuisance phone calls to a hospital, some of which were threatening. Many of the calls were targeted at a particular member of staff and involved homophobic language and jokes. He was charged with persistently making use of the public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety. He was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, uplifted from six weeks. A Criminal Behaviour Order was also granted prohibiting specific behaviour for a three year period. (North Yorkshire case.)

4. The defendant made threats and homophobic comments to a member of staff at a petrol station. She was charged with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. She pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to a £150 fine, uplifted from £80. She was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs. (West Yorkshire case.)

5. The defendant had an altercation with her neighbour and shouted homophobic abuse directed towards her neighbour’s son. She pleaded guilty at the first hearing to using threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. She was sentenced to an £85 fine uplifted from £65. She was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs. (West Yorkshire case.)

6. The defendant pulled the complainant’s head back and punched her in the face whilst shouting homophobic abuse at her. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to assault by beating. He was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order and 120 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 100 hours. He was also ordered to pay £75 compensation, an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs. (West Yorkshire case.)

7. The defendant had an altercation with two people at her child’s school and was verbally abusive, directing a homophobic insult at one of them. She was charged with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. She pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to a £100 fine uplifted from £50. She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case.)

You can read more about how the CPS prosecutes hate crimes on this website.