CPS West Midlands: Successful Hate Crime Cases January 2023
In January 2023, CPS West Midlands Magistrates' and Crown Court units successfully prosecuted various hate crime cases.
A 36-year-old man Staffordshire man who had been previously barred from a pub in Staffordshire back in 2018 after he made vulgar comments about the landlord’s sexuality, tried to enter the same pub on 24 January 2020 but was turned away. The landlord told him that he would be arrested if he ever tried to enter the pub again. The man then posted on Facebook twice making threats towards the landlord and comparing him to a paedophile. He appeared at Cannock Magistrates’ Court on 11 Sept 2020 charged with sending malicious communications which he denied. He was also charged with harassment, perverting the course of justice, and witness intimidation, after he tried to interfere with the ongoing criminal proceedings. He later pleaded guilty to a selection of charges on the day of the trial (20 September 2022) which were accepted by the prosecution. On 6 January 2023, he was sentenced to 32 months’ imprisonment at Wolverhampton Crown Court, and as part of that sentence, he received 12 months for the homophobic messages which had been uplifted from 9 months to mark the statutory aggravating factor of the hate crime.
On 2 January 2022, a woman intervened as the 64-year-old defendant from Uckfield, East Sussex attacked another woman on a train near Hove railway station. The defendant then directed homophobic and racist abuse at the woman who intervened and threatened her as he recorded a video of her. He was convicted of racist and homophobic hate crime following a trial and was sentenced on 9 January 2023 at Worthing Magistrates’ Court. He received a community order for 12 months which included six rehabilitation activity requirement days and 150 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £800 compensation to the victim which had been increased to reflect the hate crime. He was ordered to pay costs of £685. The magistrates wished for the court’s commendation to be passed to the victim for her brave spirited public action.
A 46-year-old from Oswestry was convicted after trial for harassment and disability hate crime at a Shropshire store. On 27 May 2021, the man had been asked to leave the store due to previous issues and he directed disability hate at a shop worker as he left. He also directed homophobic abuse at the police officer who was called to the scene. He was sentenced on 28 May 2022 at Telford Magistrates’ Court and received a fine of £200 for the harassment which had been increased by £20 to reflect the disability hate crime. He also received a fine £140 for the section 4A public order act offence which had also been increased by £20 to reflect the homophobic hate crime. He was ordered to pay compensation of £150 to the victim of the harassment and £50 to the victim of the public order offence. He was made subject of a criminal behaviour order prohibiting him from attending certain shops in Oswestry.
A 48-year-old Sefton man sentenced at Sefton Magistrates’ Court on 11 January 2023 following his conviction for two section 4A public order act offences. On 9 February 2022, the man directed repeated homophobic comments at two victims on a train which departed Liverpool Central. He received a six-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a tagged curfew between 7pm and 7am for four months. He was informed that the length of the curfew had been increased by one month to reflect the hate crime. He was ordered to pay £200 compensation to each victim, the victim surcharge of £95 and £300 in costs.
On 23 May 2022, a 56-year-old man from West Bromwich racially abused and shouted homophobic slurs at police officers who stopped and searched him while on patrol. He appeared before the court on 6 January 2023 and pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated section 4A public order offence and we prosecuted on the basis of the racist and homophobic hate crime. He received a sentence of 9 weeks imprisonment for the racially aggravated public order offence which had been increased by three weeks to reflect the hate crime. A suspended sentence was also partially activated, the defendant’s total sentence was 21 weeks imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the officer.
Two youth defendants aged 17 and 18 entered a store and were immediately asked to leave as they were trying to remove a vape and were underage. One of the defendants racially abused the shopkeeper and kicked him to the hip and the other defendant flashed a knife and threatened to stab the shopkeeper. The first defendant pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated section 4 public order offence and possession of a bladed article. He was sentenced on 8 August 2022 at Newcastle-Under-Lyme Magistrates’ Court. He received a referral order for 9 months for possession of the bladed article and a referral order for nine months for the racially aggravated public order offence which had been increased by three months to reflect the hate crime. He was also ordered to pay costs of £300 and the victim surcharge of £22. The second youth pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence and criminal damage at the trial date of 23 January 2023 at Newcastle Under Lyme Magistrates’ Court. He received a referral order for six months which had been increased from four months to reflect the hate crime. He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation.
A 30-year-old Walsall man, who stalked his ex-partner years after the breakdown of the relationship, was arrested for stalking and while in custody, he racially abused the custody officer. He was charged with stalking and with a racially aggravated section 4A public order offence. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Dudley Magistrates’ Court on 16 January 2023. He received a sentence of eight weeks' imprisonment for the stalking offence and a further six weeks consecutive sentence for the racially aggravated public order offence which had been increased by two weeks to reflect the hate crime. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the officer and was prohibited from contacting the complainant of the stalking for five years.