CPS North East - Hate Crime Sentence Uplifts - March 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 sent racial tweets to a professional football player. The defendant entered a guilty plea and received a four-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years. The defendant was made subject to a football banning order, which banned him from entering any football stadium in the UK for three years. The order imposed was the first of its type to be issued under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act (2022).
Case Study 2: Racist and Homophobic Hate Crime
Defendant was arrested for threats to cause criminal damage. Upon arrest, he has made both racist and homophobic comments towards the victim. The defendant pleaded guilty and received a custodial sentence of 16 weeks which was suspended for twelve months. The sentence would have been one of eight weeks’ custody, but was uplifted to 16 weeks due to hate crime elements that were present in the offending.
Case Study 3: Religious Hate Crime
Defendant was arrested for a public order offence but has then made offensive comments about the police officer’s perceived religion. The defendant has pleaded guilty and received a 24-month community order, which he is required to complete. The community order would have been for 18 months but was uplifted by a further six months to reflect the hate crime element.
Case Study 4: Homophobic Hate Crime
After being arrested for an unrelated matter, the defendant has made several homophobic comments to the custody sergeant. The defendant received a four-week custodial sentence that was suspended for 18 months. The sentence would have been two weeks but was doubled due to the hate crime element.
Case Stud 5: Racist Hate Crime
The defendant has racially abused a police officer upon arrest. The defendant received a custodial sentence of four weeks’ custody. The court stated had the offence not been racially motivated the term of imprisonment would have been suspended but due to the hate crime element the defendant's custodial sentence was immediate.