CPS North East Hate Crime sentence uplifts
Under hate crime legislation the courts must pass increased sentences where prosecutors evidence that offences have been motivated by hostility towards a person’s race, religion, disability, transgender identity or sexuality. Below are some recent examples of hate crime cases prosecuted by CPS North East which resulted in a conviction and an uplifted sentence.
Racially and religiously aggravated cases
The defendant was charged with two offences one of racially aggravated intentional harassment and one of religiously aggravated intentional harassment when the defendant approached the complainant in a public house smoking area in an aggressive manner and began saying “go back to your own country you c*nt, you Muslim bastard, you idiot”. Offences were laid to reflect both the racial and the religious abuse. At court the defendant pleaded guilty and the sentence in respect of each offence was uplifted from a band B fine to a Band C fine in recognition of the racial and the religious element.
The defendant was convicted of S18 wounding, having an article with a blade or point in respect of his stepfather and manslaughter in respect of his mother who suffered a heart attack when trying to intervene and died at the scene. The judge indicated he had considered racist remarks made at the time of the attack on the stepfather to be a statutory aggravating factor increasing starting point for sentence. The defendant received nine years' imprisonment for the attempted murder, seven years concurrent for the manslaughter and six months concurrent for the bladed article.
The defendant was charged with assaulting two police constables, and using threatening, racist and abusive words towards a doctor in A&E. Officers found the defendant in an erratic and upset state. Due to concerns over her mental health they took her to the hospital for assessment. On arrival at A&E, the defendant became violent; she kicked the police officers and spat at them and racially abused the doctor. The defendant was convicted and sentenced in her absence when she failed to attend court and received eight weeks' custody for each assault on the officers, a total of 16 weeks. For the offence towards the doctor the court announced that what would have been a low level community order was to be uplifted to three weeks' custody to reflect the racist abuse.
The defendant was charged with racially aggravated battery when he entered a pizza takeaway shop and racially abused the staff. Upon being ejected from the shop he assaulted the manager whilst continuing with the racial abuse which he repeated to officers on arrest. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to 10 weeks' immediate custody and compensation to the manager. Magistrates announced that they were uplifting the sentence to custody from a high level community order to reflect the racist abuse. A Restraining Order for two years was also made preventing the defendant from entering the takeaway and from communicating with the manager in any way.
The defendant was charged with Section 4A racially aggravated Public Order Act offence when he racially abused the owner of a Mobile Phone Shop. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to a financial penalty and a restraining order preventing him from entering the shop for a period of six months. The court announced that they were uplifting the sentence to a fine from a conditional order to reflect the racial abuse.
The defendant was charged with two counts of Section 4A racially aggravated Public Order Act offences when he racially abused his bank manager on two separate occasions in one day.
He was convicted and sentenced to six weeks' custody uplifted from four weeks to reflect the racist abuse.
Disability Hate Crime cases
The defendants were charged with harassment without violence on a shop employee and one of the defendants was also charged with two counts of shop theft. The defendants were suspected regular shoplifters and had been barred from entering the store. The victim worked at the store. The defendants were alleged to have continually shouted abuse towards her and made abusive references to her family, including her disabled son. This course of conduct led to the victim being intimidated and harassed. The defendants denied the offences. The victim attended the trial and gave evidence. The defendants were found guilty. The court found this was prolonged harassment in breach of a Suspended Sentence Order at the time (operational period now over) and was a disability hate crime - without this it would be a community penalty - having taken into account the disability hate, the magistrates determined the uplift means it crossed the custody threshold and gave six weeks' custody and a restraining order not to contact the victim, not to refer to her on social media and not to enter the store.
The defendant was charged with criminal damage when he grabbed a white stick from the hands of a partially sighted victim with whom he had had an argument, accusing her of not being blind and not needing it and proceeded to break it. The CPS presented the case as a disability hate crime case and the Defendant was convicted and sentenced to 12-month Community Order with Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days, unpaid work and compensation. The court announced that the sentence had been uplifted from a financial penalty to community order to reflect the disability hate.
Homophobic hate crime cases
The defendant was convicted of common assault and battery when he admitted slapping his ex-partner and threatening a male friend whom he said he had intended to stab because he was gay and he ‘couldn’t stand gays’. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order with 20 days' Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. The court announced that the sentence had been uplifted from nine months and 16 days' Rehabilitation Activity Requirement to reflect the homophobic hate.
The defendant pleaded guilty to an offence of assault by beating whereby he had spat at a Nexus customer service representative on a station platform and told him to ‘F…off you puff’. He was sentenced to a band B fine and ordered to pay compensation to the victim of £100. The court announced that the sentence had been uplifted from a level A fine to a level B fine to reflect the homophobic abuse.
Youth defendant pleaded guilty to an offence of harassment of another youth over a period of months which included persistently calling him ‘a faggot’. The defendant was sentenced to a Youth Referral Order for eight months and a 12-month Restraining Order. The court announced that the sentence had been uplifted form six months to eight months to reflect the use of homophobic abuse.