CPS North East - Hate Crime Sentence Uplifts - February 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: Homophobic and Racist Hate Crime
The defendant was arrested for an unrelated matter. During her arrest she has subjected a female police officer to both racist and homophobic abuse. The defendant pleaded guilty and received a sentence of ten weeks’ imprisonment. This would have been six weeks if there was no hate crime element. However, due to racial element it was uplifted by two weeks and then uplifted by a further two weeks for the homophobic abuse.
Case Study 2: Racist Hate Crime
The defendant assaulted a male member of public before subjecting him and his partner to racial abuse. The defendant would have received a 16-week custodial sentence but, due to the racist hate crime element, was sent to prison for 20 weeks.
Case Study 3: Homophobic Hate Crime
Defendant was charged after making homophobic comments to his neighbours. Defendant would have received a band C fine, but this was uplifted to a band D fine due to the homophobic element – this meant the fine was increased by 33%. The defendant was also ordered to pay compensation to both the victims of £100 each.
Case Study 4: Racist Hate Crime
The defendant was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence after making racist comments to his neighbours. The defendant was sentenced at the Crown Court, where he was made subject to a 30-month community order, which he needed to complete. This would have been for 24 months but was increased by six months to reflect the racial element of the crime.