Hate Crime Sentencing Uplifts

21/11/2016

When a defendant is convicted of a hate crime, the CPS can apply for a sentencing 'uplift' which has the effect of increasing the sentence. Some recent successful case studies are summarised below.

Disability hate crime cases:

  1. The defendant assaulted his former partner and caused damage to her home then left a threatening voicemail for her new partner, making derogatory references to his disability. He was found guilty after trial of sending a letter, communication or article conveying a threatening message, criminal damage and common assault. He was sentenced to a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 100 hours of unpaid work, which included an uplift of 20 hours. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation, £40 costs and a £60 victim surcharge. A 3 year restraining order was also imposed (South Yorkshire case).
  2. The defendant taunted a disabled man outside a supermarket before taking and making off with the victim's bag of shopping. The defendant pleaded guilty on the day of trial to robbery. His sentence was uplifted to 63 months imprisonment, although the starting point is unknown (Humberside case).

Religiously aggravated cases:

  1. The defendant verbally abused an Asian taxi driver during a disagreement over the fare, making comments about Muslim terrorists. The defendant then attacked the window of the taxi and spat at the victim. He was charged with religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to a 12 week suspended sentence uplifted from 8 weeks (South Yorkshire case).
  2. The defendant verbally abused a Muslim member of staff at the hotel he was staying at and made offensive comments about Islam. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress and was sentenced to a 16 week community order 16 weeks and a curfew for 16 weeks, both uplifted from 12 weeks. He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and a £60 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).
  3. The defendant was sitting outside a supermarket when the victim, a Muslim woman, walked past. He shouted abusive comments to her about Islam and her headscarf. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and was sentenced to a 2 year conditional discharge, uplifted from 1 year (North Yorkshire case).

Racially aggravated cases:

  1. The defendant shouted racial abuse at a delivery driver in a takeaway shop and smashed the glass panel in the door. He was charged with racially aggravated criminal damage and pleaded guilty at the first hearing. He was sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work uplifted from 80 hours and a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also ordered to pay £249.78 compensation, £100 costs and a £60 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).
  2. The defendant was being investigated for stealing from his employer. During this time he sent a series of threatening, intimidating and racially abusive text messages to his employer. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated harassment with fear of violence and witness intimidation. He was sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment, which included a 12 month uplift for the racial aggravation (North Yorkshire case).
  3. The defendant racially abused the victims, a married couple who were also his neighbours. He racially abused the female victim and then went on to racially abuse her husband, brandishing a knife and threatening to stab him with it in front of their children. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress, racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence and having article with a blade or point in a public place. He was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment for the racially aggravated offences, uplifted from 6 months suspended for 18 months. A restraining order was also imposed (West Yorkshire case).
  4. The defendant racially abused his neighbour after suspecting her of complaining to the council about the state of his garden. This was filmed by the victim on her mobile phone. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a 6 month alcohol treatment requirement and a 15 day rehabilitation requirement. This was a medium level community order uplifted from a low level community order (South Yorkshire case).
  5. The defendant was racially abusive towards a security guard at a medical centre. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress and was sentenced to a £200 fine uplifted from £100 (Humberside case).
  6. The defendant and victim were both approaching a roundabout in their cars when the defendant wound his window down, shouted racial abuse at the victim and ordered him to pull over. He then got out of his car and swung a metal bar at the victim's car causing a dent. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated criminal damage and racially aggravated harassment. He was sentenced to a 12 week community order and a 12 week curfew uplifted from 8 weeks. He was also ordered to pay £150 compensation, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).
  7. The defendant made racially offensive comments in a hospital waiting area before racially abusing the security guards as they tried to escort her off the premises. She also kicked one of the guards. She pleaded guilty at the first hearing to assault by beating and racially aggravated harassment. She was sentenced to a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement uplifted from 20 days (Humberside case).
  8. The defendant was refused service in a shop as a result of shop lifting in the past. He became argumentative and aggressive so the complainant served him to get him out of the shop. He then racially abused her, as he had also done in the past. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated harassment and was sentenced to a £120 fine uplifted from £80. He was also ordered to pay £85 compensation, £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).
  9. The defendant threatened and racially abused a security guard in a shop after he was told his dog was not allowed in. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence and was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months uplifted from a community order, a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 9 month mental health requirement. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).
  10. The defendant assaulted his dentist and then racially abused and assaulted the police officers who arrived on the scene. He was charged with common assault and two counts of racially aggravated common assault. He was eventually found guilty of all three counts after a retrial and was sentenced to a total of 18 months imprisonment, which included 15 months for the racially aggravated offences uplifted from 6 months (West Yorkshire case).
  11. The defendant acted in a threatening and abusive manner towards a female neighbour and made racist comments about her children. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 12 month community order with 150 hours unpaid work uplifted from 100 hours. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation, £160 costs and a £60 victim surcharge. A 3 year restraining order was also granted (West Yorkshire case).
  12. The defendant got into the victim's taxi and didn't have any money to pay. He then assaulted the driver whilst he was still driving and racially abused him before getting out of the taxi and running off. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated assault by beating and racially aggravated criminal damage. He was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months for the assault and 6 weeks concurrent suspended 12 months for the criminal damage. This was uplifted from a community penalty with unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £460 compensation (South Yorkshire case).

Homophobic cases:

  1. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress after verbally abusing her support worker, making reference to her sexual orientation. She was sentenced to a £125 fine uplifted from £75. She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).
  2. The defendant was involved in a legal dispute with the victim, who was his tenant. He followed him in the car on several occasions, stared at him, made homophobic hand gestures towards him and sent him an excessive amount of correspondence. The defendant was found guilty after trial of harassment without violence. He was sentenced to a £1,250 fine, which had been uplifted by 25%. He was also ordered to pay £620 costs and a £120 victim surcharge. A 2 year restraining order was also imposed (West Yorkshire case).
  3. The defendant subjected his neighbours to a tirade of homophobic abuse and was convicted after trial of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a £160 fine, uplifted from a band B fine to a B plus. He was also ordered to pay £300 costs and a £20 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).
  4. The defendant assaulted a female security guard in a shopping centre and made homophobic comments to her during the assault. He pleaded guilty to assault by beating and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence. His sentence was uplifted from a community penalty to custody. He was sentenced to 6 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months and to attend a 30 day activity under supervision. He was also ordered to pay compensation and £165 costs (West Yorkshire case).

Prosecuting Hate Crime

You can read more about how the CPS prosecutes Hate Crime elsewhere on this website.