CPS North East - Hate Crime Sentence Uplifts - October 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 is subject to a criminal behaviour order which prohibits her from acting in an abusive or threatening manner in public.
While in a hospital waiting area, the defendant subjected another patient to unprovoked and sustained racial abuse. The defendant received a total of 30 weeks’ immediate imprisonment - twelve weeks for breaching the criminal behaviour order and 18 weeks for the abusive behaviour. The sentence for the abusive behaviour would have only been twelve weeks, but was increased by one third due to the hate crime element.
Case Study 2: Disability & Racist Hate Crime
The defendant attended a McDonalds restaurant and been abusive to staff members – racially abusing one staff member and then making disability hate crime comments towards two other members of staff. The defendant was ordered to complete a twelve-month community order, which included completing 200 hours of unpaid work. This would have been 100 hours but, due to the racial and disability hate crime elements of the offence, this was doubled to 200 hours. The defendant was also ordered to pay compensation to the victims.
Case Study 3: Homophobic Hate Crime
The defendant shouted homophobic abuse at two females, before spitting in the direction of one of them.
The defendant was sentenced to complete an 18-month community order along with having to pay compensation to the victims. The Judge made it clear it would have been a twelve-month community but was uplifted by a further six months for the homophobic abuse.
Case Study 4: Racist Hate Crime
Police attended a bus station after reports the defendant was racially abusing a member of the public. Upon police arrival, she was abusive to both officers and spat at them. The defendant was given immediate imprisonment of twelve weeks. This would have been eight weeks but was uplifted by four weeks due to the racial hate crime.