Workington man sentenced for racially abusing woman

|News, Hate crime

A 65-year-old man has today been sentenced for racially abusing a young mother in Workington.

On 1 July at approximately 3pm Leslie Blaney shouted racial abuse at the victim on Murray Road as she walked with her two young children.

Two passers-by overheard him telling the woman, amongst various other racial insults, to 'get back to her own country where she belongs'. After they challenged him they were also verbally abused by Blaney before they flagged down a passing police van.

In police interview Blaney described himself as a white supremacist who believes that all "non-white English speaking people should leave England and have no part here". When asked whether he thought his behaviour was acceptable he answered: "To me it is".

Today Blaney pleaded guilty at Workington magistrates' court to racially aggravated behaviour with intent to cause the victim harassment alarm and distress.

Pamela Fee for the CPS said: "Leslie Blaney, a self-declared white supremacist, unleashed a torrent of racial abuse at a young mother as she walked down a busy street with her young children, simply because she was wearing a headscarf.

"Spouting such poisonous views in a public place is not acceptable in today's society and we will continue to bring before the courts those who commit hate crime offences.

"I would like to commend the two witnesses who intervened to protect the young woman and quickly alerted police to the ongoing incident. Had it not been for their courage and support, the victim would have walked away and Blaney would never had been brought to justice for his deplorable actions. I would encourage anyone who hears racist abuse or sees a repeated pattern of racist behaviour to come forward to report it regardless of how minor an incident may initially appear."

Notes to editors

  • Pamela Fee is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West
  • Offences which are charged under the Crime and Disorder Act are aggravated due to the racist or religious aggravation. Racial or religious aggravation makes an offence more serious and the court has a duty to take this into account when it sentences a defendant. The sentences given are enhanced to reflect the racist/religious aggravation. The court has a duty to outline what the sentence would have been had it not been for the racist/religious aggravation and what sentence is due to the specific racist/religious aggravating features
  • Lesley Blaney was sentenced to Community Order with a curfew 8pm-6am for 10 weeks, and ordered to pay £85 costs and £90 Victim Surcharge. For the basic public order offence he would have been sentenced to a fine which is an increase of 125%.

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