CPS West Midlands: Successful Hate Crime Cases May 2022
In May 2022, CPS West Midlands Magistrates' Court unit successfully prosecuted various hate crime cases. Below are just a handful of the cases we prosecuted.
A Solihull man was convicted of homophobic abuse at a football match in May 2022. On 28 December 2021, the defendant hurled homophobic abuse towards a Solihull Moors football player at the Vanarama National League fixture between Solihull Moors and Stockport County FC during the first half of the game. A West Midlands police officer overheard the offensive remarks which led to the defendant being arrested. When he was questioned, he claimed that it never crossed his mind to be homophobic. However, he was convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress following the one-day trial at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 16 May 2022. He was fined £398, ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £40.
On 30 October 2021, the defendant was travelling by train between Plymouth and Paddington railway stations following a football match between Plymouth and Ipswich. He was part of a group that chanted homophobic abuse about a deceased football player, and also mocked his suicide. The defendant handed himself to police following a media appeal where he admitted the offence. He pleaded guilty at the first appearance at Westminster Magistrates' Court and received a conditional discharge for 18 months which had been increased by six months to reflect the hate crime. He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £22.
The defendant, a former employee of the victim, telephoned the victim on 22 May 2021, threatening him and his wife and subjecting them to racist abuse. He pleaded guilty at Cannock Magistrates' Court to a malicious communication offence and received a custodial sentence of 20 weeks which was suspended for 18 months. The judge increased the sentence from a community order to a custodial sentence to reflect the hate crime element. The defendant was ordered to perform 15 days of rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR), fined £1,000, ordered to pay £185 costs and the victim surcharge of £128.
On 21 February 2022, the defendant left a racist and threatening voicemail message for an MP. He was traced, interviewed and charged with sending a grossly offensive message contrary to section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. He admitted the offence and pleaded guilty at the first hearing at Coventry Magistrates' Court. He received a custodial sentence of eight weeks, was ordered to pay the victim surcharge of £128 and his sentence was increased from a community order to reflect the hate crime element.
On 5 May 2022, the defendant stole items from a supermarket and threatened the staff member who detained him. He also racially abused a police officer who attended the scene. Once at the police station, the defendant spat on the floor and was charged with theft, a public order offence, a racially aggravated public order offence, criminal damage and failing to provide a drug sample. He pleaded guilty to all matters at the first hearing at Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court and received 30 weeks imprisonment for the racially aggravated public order offence which was increased from a community order to reflect the hate crime element. He received a concurrent 10-week sentence for threatening the security guard, no separate penalty for the criminal damage and failing to provide the drug sample and was ordered to pay £50 compensation to each victim.