CPS West Midlands: Successful Hate Crime Cases June 2023
In June 2023, CPS West Midlands Magistrates' unit successfully prosecuted various hate crime cases.
The defendant messaged the victim threatening to disclose a private sexual photo and referred to the victim’s physical disability. The defendant pleaded guilty to the offence and the Magistrates’ imposed a sentence of a community order for 12 months with 15 rehabilitation requirement days, and 60 hours of unpaid work. The defendant was ordered to pay compensation to the victim and a restraining order was imposed. The magistrates announced that the defendant had been given 20 additional hours of unpaid work to reflect the disability hate crime.
On 8 April 2023, the defendant, of Dudley, attended a football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Chelsea FC. During the game he repeatedly chanted a homophobic chant. He pleaded guilty to a s5 Public Order Act offence and was sentenced at the first hearing at Dudley Magistrates’ Court on 15 June 2023. He received a fine of £233 and was informed that the fine would have been £115 if the offence had not been a hate crime. He received a three-year football banning order and was ordered to pay £135 costs and the £93 victim surcharge.
On 7 July 2022, the defendant spat in the face of a security officer when he was asked to leave the Job Centre in West Bromwich because of his behaviour. He was arrested and directed homophobic abuse at a police officer. The defendant was charged with assault and a s4A public order offence. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted after a trial and was sentenced on 8 June 2023 at Walsall Magistrates’ Court. He received a one-year community order with 180 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days which had been increased from a medium level community order to a high level community order to reflect the hate crime. He was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to the security guard and £100 to the officer together with a contribution of £440 towards the trial costs and the £114 victim surcharge.
On 15 November 2022, the defendant gave a Nazi salute to a staff member in a shop in Sutton Coldfield. He told a customer that he should not be speaking to the member of staff and made racist comments. The defendant was arrested and while in custody he racially abused one of the police officers. The defendant pleaded guilty to two racially aggravated s4A public order offences and was sentenced on 13 June 2023 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. He received 12 weeks imprisonment for the racial abuse of the member of staff in the shop and was told that his sentence had been increased by four weeks because of the hate crime. He received an eight-week custodial sentence for the racially aggravated s4A towards the police officer and was told that he would have received a community order but the sentence was increased to custody because of the hate crime. He was ordered to pay £80 compensation to each victim.
On 18 February 2023, the defendant racially abused a taxi driver and then kicked his car causing damage. The taxi driver started to drive away however the defendant leaned into the car and tried to punch him. This missed however he then grabbed the taxi driver’s coffee cup and threw hot coffee onto him. The taxi driver left the car to get away from the defendant and the defendant kicked him to the thigh. He called the police and the defendant punched him in the face and racially abused a male who had come out from a nearby house. The defendant then ran away but was arrested at the scene. The defendant was charged with criminal damage to reflect the damage to the taxi, racially aggravated s39 assault for the assault upon the taxi driver and a racially aggravated public order offence for his abuse of the member of the public. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was then sentenced at Newcastle Under Lyme Magistrates’ Court on the 19 June 2023. He received an 18-month community order with 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was also ordered to perform 80 hours unpaid work and was told that this had been increased by 20 hours to reflect the hate crime. He was ordered to pay £200 compensation to the taxi driver, costs of £185 and the Victim Surcharge of £114.
On 4 July 2022, the defendant sent a violent racist message to a councillor. Later the same day, he sent a violent and homophobic message and was charged with two offences of sending grossly offensive communications. The defendant pleaded guilty on his trial date and was then sentenced on 5 June 2023 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. He received a 10-week sentence of imprisonment which was suspended for 18 months. He was told that the length of the sentence had been increased by two weeks to reflect the racist and homophobic abuse. The court also imposed a restraining order ordering him not to contact the complainant for two years.
On 21 December 2022, the defendant was on a train which terminated at Treherbert station. He refused to get off the train as he wanted to travel to another station. A member of the rail security team explained that there was a rail replacement bus for that destination. The defendant racially abused him and refused the leave the train before deciding to jump onto the tracks. When staff tried to remove him from the tracks he threatened to stab them and hit one of them. Officers arrived and he kicked one of the officers to the leg and then later repeatedly used homophobic abuse towards that officer. The defendant was charged with a racially aggravated s4A public order offence, a public order offence to reflect the homophobic abuse, assaulting an emergency worker and assault. He pleaded not guilty but changed his plea to guilty before the trial date and was sentenced at Merthyr Magistrates’ Court on 20 June 2023. He received a total sentence of 10 weeks imprisonment and was informed that the sentence had been increased by two weeks to reflect the racist hate crime and a further two weeks to reflect the homophobic hate crime.