Racist who set fire to buildings sentenced

|News, Hate crime

A man who set fire to two buildings and caused damage to several others in Newport with racist graffiti has appeared in Newport Crown Court.

Austin Ross, 23, attended places such as The Riverfront Theatre and Newport Leisure Centre, sticking posters with racist propaganda to the buildings and spray painting swastikas.

Ross also damaged schools and a church, as well as other buildings and landmarks, using racist posters and slogans.

The Masonic Lodge and Bassaleg Secondary School were not only damaged with graffiti but also set alight by Ross, causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Cerys Beresford-Evans of the CPS said: “Ross spread his racist messages around Newport by causing damage and destruction to buildings.

“Hate crime has no place in a civilised society and has a devastating impact on not only individuals, but on communities.

“The CPS will continue to work with our partners in the criminal justice system to address all forms of hate crime.”

Austin Ross was sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment.

Notes to editors

  • Cerys Beresford-Evans is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in CPS Cymru-Wales
  • Austin ROSS (DOB: 8/9/94) pleaded guilty to 2 x Arson; 4 x Racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm and distress; 9 x Racially aggravated damage to property.

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