CPS West Midlands: Successful Hate Crime Cases July 2021
In July 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.
On 7 May 2021, Anthony Matthews, 36, of Lincolnshire, assaulted two railway staff by punching them and then on 8 May 2021, he used racist language towards one of the police officers who arrested him. He pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and assaulting an emergency worker. The CPS proved that Matthews demonstrated racial hostility during the offending and as a result his sentence was uplifted. He received a total of 15 months' imprisonment, which included consecutive sentences for other offences.
Desmond Brooks, 19, of Harrow pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm, racially aggravated common assault, and possessing an offensive weapon after he assaulted two people at Harrow on the Hill station on 20 October 2020. Brooks also racially abused one of the victims and stabbed the other in the leg as she tried to protect her friend. At the hearing sentence at Inner London Crown Court, he was sentenced to a total of five years and two months' imprisonment with an uplift of three months for the racially aggravated offence.
Police officers attended Darren Hugh Dowie’s home in Kingstanding, Birmingham, on 4 November 2019; after checks revealed an outstanding warrant for his arrest, Dowie assaulted the police officers. He spat on two officer's necks and kicked the inside of a police car. While in custody, the 45-year-old racially abused another officer and urinated in the cell. He pleaded guilty to all charges at Birmingham Crown Court, and on 23 July 2021, he was sentenced to 24 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
On 12 June 2021, 22-year-old Ryan Fingleton, who was intoxicated and had made off from a road traffic collision scene, was arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink or drugs and was taken to hospital due to injuries sustained in the collision. While at the hospital, Fingleton used abusive and homophobic language towards two police officers, refused to provide a breath test and behaved aggressively towards the officers and a civilian member of police staff. On 29 June 2021 at Newcastle Under Lyme Magistrates' Court, Fingleton pleaded guilty to failing to provide a breath specimen and section 4A using threatening, abusive, insulting words and behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause a person harassment, alarm and distress. On 21 July 2021, he received a sentence of eight weeks' custody, suspended for 12 months for failing to provide a breath test and a concurrent sentence of five weeks custody suspended for 12 months for section 4A, uplifted from four weeks to reflect the hate crime.
Nigel Spowage, 61, was residing at a hostel when he repeatedly used racist language and gestures towards the victim who worked at the hostel. Spowage was evicted from the hostel the following day but was later arrested for being drunk and disorderly in a public place after he banged on the hostel's windows and shouted at staff. He also kicked one of the police officers after being handcuffed. Spowage pleaded guilty to racially aggravated Section 4A, assaulting an emergency worker by beating and being drunk and disorderly and was sentenced on 14 July 2021. He received a 30-month community order, uplifted from 24 months to reflect the hate crime, and a four-week curfew between 8pm and 6am and was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim. He received the same sentence for assaulting an emergency worker by beating, to be served concurrently, and was ordered to pay £150 compensation to the police officer.
The victim was working at a ticket barrier at a railway station when the defendant Patricia Francis, 54, from Westminster approached and asked to be let through the barrier. The victim, suspecting that Francis did not have a ticket, asked her why she needed to get through the barrier. At this time, she used abusive and racist language towards the victim and spat at him, although she was too far away for the spit to make contact. She also said she would find a bottle to hit him and rummaged through a nearby bin, although she did not retrieve any items. As she left the scene, she continued to use racist and homophobic language towards the victim. Francis pleaded guilty to racially aggravated section 4 public order act and common assault. On 7 July 2021, she received a 12-month community order with 40 RAR days, uplifted from 30 days to reflect the hate crime. She was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to the victim.
Richard North, 57, of Dudley, was arrested for an unrelated matter and was taken to a police station where he used aggressive language towards police officers in the custody area and repeatedly used homophobic language towards one of the officers, deeply offending her. He was convicted after trial, and on 29 July 2021, received a six-month community order, uplifted from a financial penalty to reflect the hate crime, five days RAR and a four-week curfew from 7pm until 7am. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation to the officer.
Daniel Kavanagh, 37, of Nuneaton, stole several cans of lager from a store and punched the victim, a security guard, in the face when asked for a receipt and used racist language towards the victim. The victim and his colleague detained Kavanagh until the police arrived and arrested him. Kavanagh attempted to pull his arms away while an officer was trying to apply handcuffs. On 16 July 2021, the defendant pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault by beating, shop theft and resisting a police constable and was sentenced to a 12-month community order, 25 RAR sessions and a £150 fine, uplifted from 20 RAR sessions and a £50 fine to reflect the hate crime. He was ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim.