CPS Wessex: Successful Hate Crime Cases in November 2021
During the month of November 2021, CPS Wessex achieved successful outcomes in over 85% of the Hate Crime cases that were prosecuted in the magistrates’ courts and crown courts across Dorset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, and Wiltshire.
Here is just a small selection of the cases we prosecuted.
Donna Holland, aged 44 and of no fixed address, shouted at the vulnerable elderly victim and used language that showed hostility towards people with disabilities. Holland also spat on the victim. She was convicted of common assault and a public order offence after a trial at Portsmouth magistrates’ court. Holland was sentenced to six months in prison, uplifted from four months to reflect the seriousness of the hate crime.
On 26 November, Connor Efford, aged 25 and from Portsmouth, repeatedly used homophobic language towards a member of police staff. This offence triggered a suspended sentence that he was already subject to, and he was sentenced to 28 days in prison. Efford was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim, increased from £100 as a result of the hate crime element.
51-year-old Robert Russo, from Christchurch, assaulted and verbally abused paramedics that were administering assistance to him. He used homophobic language towards one of the paramedics. At Poole magistrates’ court, he pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker and was sentenced to a 12-week community order. Russo was also fined £50, ordered to pay £50 to each victim, and given a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, which was increased to 23 days to reflect the seriousness of the homophobic hate crime.
Luke Caulfield, aged 20 and of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to a public order offence at Salisbury magistrates’ court after he shouted homophobic words at a police officer. He was fined £487, which included a sentence uplift to reflect the hate crime aspect, and was also ordered to pay £70 compensation to the victim.
At Newport magistrates’ court in November, 27-year-old Nathan Hobbs, from the Isle of Wight, headbutted one victim and slapped another in the face, using transphobic language towards the victims as well. He pleaded guilty to both offences at court and would have been sentenced to a community order, but given the hate crime element, his sentenced was uplifted to eight weeks in prison, suspended for six months. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to each victim.
On 1 November, Michael Catton, aged 57 and from Southampton, sent a series of abusive messages to the victim and used racist language towards her in the street. He pleaded guilty to sending malicious communications but denied a racially aggravated public order offence. After a trial at Southampton magistrates’ court, he was convicted of the racially aggravated offence and sentenced to eight weeks in prison, which was increased to 12 weeks to reflect the severity of the racially aggravated hate crime.
61-year-old William Bruce, from Wiltshire, was involved in a road rage incident where he racially abused the victim. He was convicted of a racially aggravated public order offence after a trial at Salisbury magistrates’ court and was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. This sentence was increased from a community order to reflect the hate crime aspect of the case. He was also given a 14-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and ordered to pay the victim £200 compensation.
At Poole magistrates’ court, 28-year-old Daniel Long, from Poole, was convicted of racially abusing a security guard after he was detained for shoplifting. He would have been fined £120, but his sentence was uplifted to £180 because the racist language he used made it a hate crime. He also had to pay the victim £100 compensation.