Hate Crime Sentencing uplifts January 2017

18/01/2017

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

Disability hate crime cases:

1. The defendant verbally abused two victims with Asperger's Syndrome at a bus station, using the terms "spastic" and "retard". He was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to a three month curfew uplifted from two months. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs, an 85 victim surcharge and 100 compensation to each victim (West Yorkshire case).

2. The defendant pulled the victim from her car before getting in and driving off. He targeted the victim on the basis that she had a disabled badge on display in her car. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to robbery. He was sentenced to two years' imprisonment and ordered to pay a 30 victim surcharge. As this was the maximum sentence, the uplift was in the form of no reduction for time spent in custody pending trial (Humberside case).

3. The victim left the house in her wheelchair after an argument with the defendant. The defendant followed her and verbally abused her in the street before forcibly pushing her back to the house. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 200 fine uplifted from 100. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs and a 30 victim surcharge (Humberside case).

Religiously aggravated cases:

1. The victim was walking to the mosque when the defendant pulled up in his car and verbally abused him, making reference to his clothing and religion. The defendant then drove at the victim six times. The defendant was charged with religiously aggravated common assault. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence of 16 weeks uplifted from eight weeks. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay 85 costs (West Yorkshire case).

2. The defendant assaulted a taxi driver and verbally abused him on the basis of his race and religion. Another taxi driver who arrived on the scene was also assaulted and racially abused by the defendant. A third taxi driver also attended and had his vehicle damaged. The defendant was charged with two racially and religiously aggravated common assaults, racially and religiously aggravated criminal damage and religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a 33 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 150 hours' unpaid work uplifted from 100 hours. He was also ordered to pay 600 in compensation to the three victims (West Yorkshire case).

3. The defendant verbally abused the victim in the street outside the victim's home. The abuse included remarks that were particularly offensive to the victim because of her religious beliefs. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing to religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. She was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a ten day rehabilitation activity requirement and 100 hours' unpaid work uplifted from 40 hours' unpaid work. Additionally, she was ordered to pay 85 costs and an 85 victim surcharge. She is also subject to a three year Criminal Behaviour Order (North Yorkshire case).

4. The defendant sent anti-Islamic comments via Facebook, which were reported to the police via a third party. He was charged with sending by a public communication network an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message and pleaded guilty at the first hearing. He was sentenced to 24 weeks' imprisonment suspended for 12 months uplifted from 12 weeks, 200 hours' unpaid work and a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs and a 115 victim surcharge (North Yorkshire case).

Racially aggravated cases:

1. The police were called to a disturbance on a residential street where a group of youths were fighting. The defendant was abusive to the officers and racially abused one of them. He was charged with being drunk and disorderly in a public place and racially aggravated harassment by words. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to both offences. He was sentenced to a 135 fine, which was uplifted from a Band A to a Band B fine. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs and a 30 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).

2. The defendant behaved in a racially abusive and threatening manner towards a member of staff at a fast food restaurant who had asked him to leave. He was charged with racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. He was convicted after trial and sentenced to pay a 180 fine uplifted by 50. He was also ordered to pay a 23 victim surcharge, 30 compensation and 50 costs (West Yorkshire case).

3. The defendant racially abused a cashier after an argument about the exchange rate. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing and was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge uplifted from nine months. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs and a 20 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).

4. The defendant racially abused the victim in the street and acted in a threatening manner towards her. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated harassment words. He was sentenced to an 80 fine uplifted from 60. He was also ordered to pay a 30 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).

5. The defendant assaulted his partner then racially abused and spat at the victim when he intervened. The defendant was charged with assault by beating in respect of his partner and racially aggravated common assault. He was found guilty after trial. He was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a ten day rehabilitation activity requirement and 160 hours' unpaid work uplifted from 100 hours. He was also ordered to pay 50 compensation, 500 costs and an 85 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).

6. The defendant racially abused and assaulted a member of care staff in the residential home in which he lives. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated assault by beating and was sentenced to a 180 fine uplifted from 80. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs and 50 compensation (West Yorkshire case).

7. The defendant was racially abusive towards two members of staff on Council premises. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing and was sentenced to a 120 fine, uplifted from a Band C to a Band B fine. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs and a 30 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).

8. The defendant racially abused the victim and then punched him in the face. She was charged with racially aggravated common assault. She pleaded guilty on the day of trial and was sentenced to a 12 month community order uplifted from a Band C fine, with a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement. She was also ordered to pay 50 compensation to the victim (South Yorkshire case).

9. The youth defendant harassed two of his neighbours over the course of a week by stepping out in front of their car, shouting racist abuse and spitting at them, sometimes in front of their young children. The defendant had received a youth caution for previous offences against the same victims. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated harassment without violence and racially aggravated intentional harassment - words. He was sentenced to a six month referral order uplifted from three months. He was also ordered to pay a 30 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).

10. The victim was returning from work when he was racially abused by the defendant. The defendant followed the victim to his flat and pulled out what the victim believed to be a knife. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence by words or writing. He was sentenced to a nine week suspended sentence uplifted from six weeks, with a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also ordered to pay 200 compensation, 200 costs and an 80 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).

11. The defendant racially abused a member of staff at court. He was charged with racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was convicted after trial and was sentenced to a nine week suspended sentence uplifted from six weeks. He was also ordered to pay 100 costs and a 115 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).

12. The defendant entered a shop on numerous occasions over a three day period and kicked the door, threw various items around and racially abused a member of staff. She was charged with racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. She pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to 12 weeks' imprisonment suspended for 12 months uplifted from a high level community penalty. She was also sentenced to a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay a 115 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).

13. The defendant racially abused and bit a security guard who challenged her after suspecting she was shoplifting. She pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated common assault. She was sentenced to a nine month community order and alcohol treatment requirement with a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement and an 80 fine uplifted from 40. She was also ordered to pay 150 compensation (South Yorkshire case).

14. The defendant sent a series of racially offensive and threatening Facebook messages to the victim and was charged with sending a communication of an indecent or offensive nature. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment suspended for 12 months, uplifted from four weeks. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs 85 and 115 compensation (North Yorkshire case).

15. The defendant racially abused and assaulted a taxi driver. He then walked away and punched one passer-by and kicked another. He was charged with racially aggravated common assault and two common assaults. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to 16 weeks' imprisonment, uplifted from 12 weeks for the racially aggravated assault (North Yorkshire case).

16. The defendant was racially abusive to a member of door staff at a wine bar. He continued with the racial abuse in the presence of police. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to a 600 fine uplifted from 300. He was ordered to pay 200 compensation uplifted from 100 and 85 costs. He was also excluded from the wine bar for two years (North Yorkshire case).

17. The defendant and victim were involved in a fracas in a fast food restaurant, during which the defendant racially abused the victim. He was charged with racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence and pleaded guilty at the first hearing. He was sentenced to a12 month community order including 120 hours' unpaid work, uplifted by 80 hours. He was also excluded from the fast food restaurant for 12 months (North Yorkshire case).

18. The defendant racially abused a member of staff in a shop when he was challenged over not paying for a drink. He then verbally abused another member of staff before leaving. He returned with a panel he had pulled off a nearby fence and threatened to use it against the victims. He was charged with racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing and two counts of theft from a shop. He pleaded guilty to all offences at the first hearing and was sentenced to four months' imprisonment suspended for two years plus a concurrent two year drug rehabilitation requirement. He was also ordered to pay 85 costs and a 116 victim surcharge (Humberside case).

19. The defendant was responsible for spray painting swastikas, images of Adolf Hitler and the logo of a far right group in prominent public places. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to eight charges of racially aggravated criminal damage. He was sentenced to a 12 month community order and 150 hours' unpaid work uplifted from 100 hours. He was also ordered to pay 800 compensation to the local Council, 85 costs and a victim surcharge of 85 (Humberside case).

20. The defendant racially abused the victim when she challenged him over urinating in public. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated threatening behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 150 fine uplifted by 75. He was also ordered to pay a 30 victim surcharge and 85 costs (Humberside case).

Homophobic and transphobic cases:

1. The defendant was verbally abusive to a member of bar staff and tried to punch the owner of the bar. He used homophobic language during the incident. He was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing. His community order was revoked and three months of a suspended sentence were activated, uplifted from eight to ten weeks for the homophobic element. He was also ordered to pay a 115 victim surcharge (Humberside case).

2. The youth defendant made transphobic and homophobic comments to one of the victims. She assaulted the other victim whilst being racially abusive. She was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence and racially aggravated common assault. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a nine month youth referral order uplifted from six months, with nine months' supervision and a nine day activity requirement. She was also ordered to pay 50 compensation to each victim (Humberside case).

3. The defendant shouted homophobic abuse outside the victim's address. He then banged heavily on the victim's front door, causing damage. He had previously received a harassment warning for similar behaviour towards the same victim. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress and criminal damage. He was sentenced to four months' imprisonment suspended for 18 months, a 25 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 120 hours' unpaid work, uplifted from a community order. He was also ordered to pay 500 compensation and 85 costs and a restraining order was imposed for 18 months (South Yorkshire case).

4. The defendant sent threatening messages to the victim containing homophobic abuse. She was charged with sending a communication conveying a threatening message. She later changed her plea to guilty and was sentenced to a six month referral order uplifted from four months. She was also ordered to pay 85 cost and a 15 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).

Read more about how the CPS prosecutes hate crimes.