CPS North East - Hate Crime Sentence Uplifts - August 2023
Under hate crime legislation the courts must pass increased sentences where prosecutors show evidence that offences either demonstrate or have been motivated by hostility towards a person’s race, religion, disability, transgender identity or sexuality. Below are examples of hate crime cases recently prosecuted by CPS North East, each of which resulted in a conviction and an uplifted sentence.
Case Study 1: Racist Hate Crime
The defendant has been challenged by the occupant of a property after he has made attempts to take items from nearby motor vehicles. The defendant has then subjected the occupant to racial abuse. The defendant was convicted at trial and the Judge said she would have imposed a high-level community order but due to the racial aggravated nature of the case, uplifted this to an immediate custodial sentence of five months.
Case Study 2: Religious Hate Crime
The defendant has been charged with a number of offences. Whilst outside a mosque, has made threats to kill two Muslim males and a five-year-old child. He has also pushed one of the males and then urinated on the front door of the mosque. Due to the religious aggravated and serious nature of the offending the sentencing judge remarked an immediate custody was the appropriate sentence. The defendant was sentenced to seven years in prison - four years with extended licence period of three years, which is to reflect the religious aggravation of the case.
Case Study 3: Homophobic Hate Crime
The defendant was asked to leave a store by a member of staff. However, he became uncooperative and subjected the staff member to homophobic abuse before leaving the store. The defendant pleaded guilty and the court, when sentencing, outlined that the defendant would have received a low-level community order but given the homophobic abuse whilst in drink, this was increased and the defendant was made subject to a 24-month community order which included completing 45 rehabilitation days.
Case Study 4: Racist Hate Crime
The defendant was ejected from a bar by door staff. Upon leaving the premises, he has become racially abusive to one of the door staff members and for around ten minutes made several attempts to assault the door staff member which included throwing a temporary roadside metal fence in their direction. The defendant would have been given an eight-month prison sentence which was suspended for 18 months. However, the Judge uplifted this to 12-month imprisonment suspended for 18 months due to the hate crime element.