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CPS West Midlands: Hate crime cases prosecuted in July and August 2020

|News, Hate crime

During July and August 2020, CPS West Midlands Magistrates’ Court unit successfully prosecuted 180 hate crime cases. Among those targeted by the defendants were police officers, a train manager and a judge. Below are just a handful of the cases we prosecuted.

Alvin O'Connor from Birmingham was arrested on 23 February 2020 for subjecting police officers to racist and homophobic abuse and racially abusing a member of the public. During the first hearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on 2 July, he pleaded guilty to racially aggravated intentional harassment and was sentenced to 36 weeks' imprisonment for this offence and previous racially aggravated offences. O'Connor was informed that his sentence had been increased by 12 weeks to reflect the hate crime nature of the offence.

Harvinder Singh Johal of Birmingham subjected a PCSO to racist and religious abuse at New Street Station and also shouted other racist and religiously offensive comments. He pleaded guilty to all offences at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 7 July 2020 and received a suspended sentence of 16 weeks' imprisonment. Johal was informed that his sentence had been increased by fourweeks to reflect the hate crime nature of the offence.

Having been arrested for assaulting his sister and her partner, Richard Freeman of Stoke-on Trent, racially abused the detention officer. He pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating and a racially aggravated public order offence. On 10 July 2020, at Newcastle-Under-Lyme Magistrates' Court, he was sentenced to 26 weeks' imprisonment for these offences and previous suspended sentences. Freeman was informed that his sentence for the public order offence had been increased from a community order to imprisonment, to reflect the hate crime nature of the offence.

On 13 July 2020, John Michael Wilson Barwick of Durham, pleaded guilty to threatening a train manager and subjecting another employee to homophobic abuse when they came to assist. He was sentenced on the same day at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court to four weeks' imprisonment. Barwick was informed that his sentence had been increased by one week to reflect the hate crime nature of the offence.  His suspended sentence for other matters was also activated and he received a total sentence of 20 weeks' imprisonment as a result of this and other offending.

Peter John Doyle of Birmingham racially abused a deputy manager who challenged him after he was caught stealing a bottle of whiskey from a store. On 15 July 2020 at Birmingham Magistrates' Court, he pleaded guilty to all offences and was sentenced to 19 weeks' imprisonment. He was informed that his sentence had been uplifted by three weeks to reflect the racist nature of the offence.

Stephen Thomas Connelly of Birmingham racially abused a judge and a security guard at Birmingham Crown Court. During the first hearing on 31 July 2020 at Birmingham Magistrates' Court, he pleaded guilty to the offence and was fined £300 which included a £100 uplift for the racial element of the offence. Thomas also received a 16-week custodial sentence for two separate unrelated matters.

On 24 July 2020, at Birmingham Magistrates' Court, David Hani Suliman, of Birmingham, pleaded guilty to shouting homophobic and racial abuse at three police officers. On 19 August, he was sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £210 compensation. Sulman was informed that his sentence had been uplifted from a community order to reflect the hate crime element of the offence.

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