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Chesterfield woman fined for racist harassment

|News, Hate crime

A Chesterfield woman has been sentenced for racially aggravated harassment, following an incident in December 2020, where she blocked access to householder's home.

During the height of the lockdown restrictions, Katie Havenhand (39) stood in the way of a homeowner trying to get into their property. When asked to move she refused and instead licked her hands and wiped them on the victim’s gates. During the confrontation, Havenhand made a racist remark to the victim and refused to stop her son climbing on her fence.

The CPS presented evidence to the court that the defendant made the gesture to cause harassment, alarm or distress to the victim, as well as showing racial hostility in her remarks to the victim and that she appeared to show complete indifference when confronted with the racist nature of her behaviour.

Havenhand was found guilty of racially aggravated harassment following a trial at Chesterfield Magistrates Court and was fined a total of £923.00 on 18 October. The court increased the fine from £576.00 due to the racially aggravated nature of the offence.

Michael Little from the CPS said “Katie Havenhand made a deliberately hostile gesture to two people trying to get past her into their own home, then compounded this by making a racist comment towards them. That gesture in the midst of a pandemic, coupled with her unashamed racist remark showed that she was acting out of hostility towards the victims’ ethnic background.

"The CPS is dedicated to tackling all forms of hate crime and will not let this kind of abuse go unchallenged. The sentence uplift implemented by the court demonstrates the severity in which we treat such cases and hopefully provides some reassurance to the victim.”

Notes to editors

  • Michael Little is a Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands. 
  • 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. In this case the court indicated when sentencing that they had given a prison sentence instead of a community penalty to reflect the racist element of the offence.
  • The term ‘hate crime’ is used to describe a range of criminal behaviour carried out by one or more perpetrators, such as verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment and assault as well as damage to property.   
  • For more information see the dedicated hate crime page and most recent CPS hate crime statistics on the CPS website.  

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