Hate Crime - Sentence Uplifts - February
Under hate crime legislation the courts must pass increased sentences where prosecutors provide 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.
1. The Defendant was convicted of racially aggravated intentional harassment alarm distress when he entered a take away and racially abused a staff member. He was sentenced to a fine of £708 uplifted from £425 to reflect the racial aggravation.
2. The Defendant was sentenced to 14 weeks' imprisonment when she was convicted of attempted shop theft, criminal damage and racially aggravated fear and provocation of violence for racially abusing and threatening a shop assistant who had challenged her for trying to steal from the store. The court announced that they had increased the sentence from 12 weeks to reflect the racial aggravation.
3. The Defendant was charged with racially aggravated intentional harassment causing alarm or distress, possession of a knife and criminal damage when he attended the local shop where he was banned requesting that they call him a taxi. On being refused he used a knife to cause damage to the shop owner’s car and was racially abusive towards him. Upon conviction the defendant was sentenced to a Community Order of 12 months with 15 days' rehabilitation activities which the court announced had been uplifted to reflect the racist behaviour.
4. The Defendant was convicted of offences of assault by beating and racially aggravated threats of violence. He had been challenged by Nexus Staff for urinating in the metro station and racially abused and threatened one staff member and then punched and homophobically abused another staff member. He continued to be aggressive and abusive whilst being detained. Sentence of imprisonment was uplifted by 10 weeks to 20 weeks to reflect the homophobic and racial aggravation.
5. The Defendant was charged with intentional harassment alarm distress when he interfered with street wardens who were assisting an unconscious male in the street and used homophobic abuse towards them. At the Crown Court the Defendant was sentenced to six months' custody, and the court announced this had been uplifted from three months due to the homophobic aggravation.
6. The Defendant was convicted of intentional harassment casuing alarm or distress when he made lewd and aggressive homophobic comments to a hotel receptionist. He was sentenced to a fine of £550 uplifted from £440 to reflect the homophobic aggravation and ordered to pay compensation of £100.
7. The Defendant was charged with intentional harassment causing alarm or distress when she shouted transphobic abuse towards a transgender female in a night club. Upon conviction she was ordered to pay a fine of £160 uplifted from £120 and compensation of £50 to reflect the trans hostility.
8. The Defendant was convicted of offences of racially aggravated harassment and religiously aggravated harassment for repeatedly sending abusive messages over a period of time via social media. He was sentenced by the Crown Court to five years' imprisonment and a lifetime restraining order was made.
9. The Defendant was convicted of religiously aggravated intentional harassment causing alarm or distress for Islamophobic abuse towards a Council worker and given three months' imprisonment suspended for 18 months with a four-month curfew and rehabilitation activities. The court announced it had uplifted the sentence to reflect the religious aggravation.