CPS West Midlands: Successful Hate Crime Cases August 2021
In August 2021, CPS West Midlands Magistrates' and Crown Court units successfully prosecuted various hate crime cases. Below are just a handful of the cases we prosecuted.
Liam Hand, 34, of Rochdale, was seated in the disabled seating area of a train leaving Burnley Central railway station on 27 October, 2020 when he swung a bottle at a woman in a wheelchair, frightening her. When the train came to a halt, two other passengers intervened to assist her, and Hand was arrested. He pleaded guilty on 6 July 2021 to using threatening, abusive, or insulting statements or behaviour with the intent to instil fear or instigate criminal violence. On 3 August, 2021, he was given a 12-month community order which included a drug rehabilitation requirement and 20 days of rehabilitation activity together with a financial penalty which was increased from £180 to £240 to reflect the hate crime nature of the offence. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim.
On 17 April 2021, the victim went to collect a takeaway in Worcester with a friend and encountered a large group of youths who shouted homophobic abuse at them and threw stones in their direction, which made the victims feel intimidated and distressed. The victims sought refuge in a takeaway, and the youths eventually left following intervention from a passerby. Three youths were charged with a public order offence and sentenced. One pleaded guilty and received a community order for 12 months with a 12-week curfew and was ordered to pay compensation of £50. He was informed that his sentence had been increased from a financial penalty to a community order to reflect the hate crime. On the trial date, the other two pleaded guilty, and received referral orders. They were informed that the length of the orders had been increased from three to six months to reflect the hate crime. They were also ordered to pay compensation and received a criminal behaviour order which included prohibitions on them throwing stones, associating with certain other people and attending certain locations.
Shaun Coates, 42, of Wednesbury was the ex-partner of the victim's mother. He attended the victim's flat in the early morning hours, banging and shouting abuse and returned later that same day, wanting to speak to the victim's mother. When the victim asked him to go away, Coates subjected the victim to homophobic abuse. He also punched and broke three window panes, cutting his hand in the process. On 19 August 2021, he received a nine-week sentence of imprisonment for the criminal damage, suspended for 12 months. A two-week concurrent suspended sentence for the assault upon the victim was increased from one week to reflect the hate crime nature of both offences. He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation.
On 21 September 2020, Harry Sayce, 25, of Tamworth , threatened his ex-partner with a hammer at her friend's house and shouted threats. He was charged with a racially aggravated assault, public order offences and possessing an offensive weapon. On 24 August 2021, he was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 12 months with a 90-day curfew and 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay £1,000 to compensate the victim. His sentence was increased from community to custodial sentence to reflect the hate crime.
Daniel Dutton, 29, of Nuneaton racially abused a security guard at Tesco on two separate occasions and was convicted of two racially aggravated public order matters. On 17 August 2021, he was sentenced to a 12-month community order to include 60 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £400 compensation to the victim. The judge informed him that the sentence was increased from a financial penalty to a community order because this was a hate crime.
On 4 May 2021, the victim, a PCSO, was on duty in Worcester when she was informed that a female was shouting racist abuse in Worcester. When she arrived at the scene, she found Hayley Hope, 54, of Worcester, who directed racist abuse at her. Hope was arrested for a racially aggravated public order offence and continued to shout racist comments during the journey to the police station. She pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence and was sentenced on 9 August 2021 and received a 12-week suspended sentence and 20 rehabilitation days. Her sentence was increased from a community order to a custodial sentence to reflect the hate crime nature of the offence.
Michael Brennan, 65, of Tamworth, was caught on police body-worn camera being repeatedly abusive, using homophobic and anti-Semitic words after he was escorted out of a public house because of his conduct. He had also written swastika symbols on his track and trace form, which the landlady of the public house handed to police. He pleaded guilty to all three related hate crime charges and was sentenced to a community order for 18 months with 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) and ordered to undertake 12 months of mental health treatment. The length of the community order was uplifted by six months to reflect the fact that these were hate crimes.
Guilty pleas were followed by an uplift of three months’ imprisonment resulting in a sentence of nine months imprisonment for Bevan Mark Tobin, 46, who made racist comments towards his victim before punching him in the face. He then racially abused a police officer while he was in the custody block for which he received a concurrent nine-month sentence of imprisonment at Birmingham Crown Court.
The victim was at a bus stop when she was approached by Nadia Younis, 36, of Walsall, who made money demands and used force to shoulder barge and prevent the victim from boarding the bus. She continued to demand money while the victim was on the bus, and on several occasions, Younis demonstrated racial hostility by using racial slurs. The court sentenced Younis, who pleaded guilty, to three years imprisonment for an offence of assault with intent to rob with a four-month uplift for the racially aggravated element.
On 9 February 2020, the victim had attended a birthday party where a fight broke out in a car park. The victim tried to calm those involved down, and a short time later, she was subjected to racist abuse and then kicked and punched. The defendants (45-year-old Amanda Tracey Thompson, 26-year-old Shannon Corry, 20-year-old Bethany Kelly and 26-year-old Sophie Plows) all pleaded guilty, and their suspended sentences were uplifted to reflect that these offences of affray were racially aggravated.