CPS North East - Hate Crime Sentence Uplifts - May 2021
Under hate crime legislation the courts must pass increased sentences where prosecutors 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:
- The Defendant was convicted at the Crown Court of intentional racial harassment, attempted robbery, criminal damage and having a bladed article as well as other unrelated offences. He had attempted to rob a taxi driver of money, racially abused him and slashed the tyres of his vehicle with a knife. He was sentenced to a total of six years and two months’ imprisonment. The court announced that it had uplifted the sentence to reflect the racial aggravation.
- The Defendant was convicted at the Crown Court of racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm, criminal damage and possessing a bladed article after he attended a local shop in possession of a machete. He was ushered out of the store by a staff member and then smashed windows to the shop with the machete. Glass contacted the staff member to the hand and caused a cut to it. He shouted racial abuse at the time of the incident. He was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment. The court announced that it had uplifted the sentence to reflect the fact this was a racist hate crime. A restraining order was made for five years, preventing him from entering the area surrounding the store.
- The Defendant was convicted at the Crown Court of a series of sexual offences and of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress towards hospital staff. Female staff were targeted and sexually assaulted, male staff were verbally abused for challenging his sexualised behaviour towards the female staff and he racially abused both male and female staff members whilst an in-patient. He was sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment. The court announced that they had reflected the fact this featured hate-related offending in the uplifted sentence.
- The Defendant was convicted of common assault and threats to cause damage after a dispute with his neighbours culminated in him engaging in a tirade of homophobic abuse and threats to burn them out. He was sentenced to a fine of £240 and ordered to pay compensation to each victim in the sum of £100. The court announced that the sentence had been increased to a fine from a conditional discharge to reflect the homophobic aggravation.
- The Defendant was convicted of intentional harassment after he continually gave homophobic abuse towards officers making an arrest. He was sentenced to a fine of £140. The court announced the sentence had been uplifted to reflect the homophobic aggravation.
- The defendant, a youth, was convicted of racially aggravated harassment and other unrelated offences. On arrest he was racially abusive to the arresting officer. He was sentenced to a 12-month Youth Referral Order which was uplifted from nine months to reflect the racial aggravation.
- The Defendant was convicted of racially aggravated harassment for a course of conduct whereby she sent relentless racially and religiously offensive social media messages to the victim. She was sentenced to a two-year conditional discharge. A restraining order was made for a period of two years. The court announced it had uplifted the sentence from 12 months to two years to reflect the racial and religious aggravation.
- The Defendant was convicted of assault and intentional racial harassment towards a taxi driver, careless driving, and other road traffic offences. After he crashed his car on a bend due to driving too fast, he called a taxi to take him home. The victim responded to the call and was racially abused and assaulted by the defendant as he was being dropped off. He was sentenced to 23 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with unpaid work requirement and was disqualified from driving. He was ordered to pay £300 compensation to the victim. The court announced it had increased the length of the period of imprisonment by 16 weeks to reflect the racial aggravation.