CPS West Midlands: Successful Hate Crime Cases November 2022
In November 2022, CPS West Midlands Magistrates' and Crown Court unit successfully prosecuted various hate crime cases.
On 7 November 2022, the two defendants aged 22 and 23 from Walsall were sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court to a total of 12 years and eight months' imprisonment after they imprisoned, tortured, racially abused a vulnerable man and forced him to bark like a dog. The victim was rescued when members of the public phoned the police out of concern and the defendants were arrested soon after. They first appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court on 27 October 2021 charged with false imprisonment, assault, racially aggravated assault and fraud and the matter was sent to the Crown Court. At the plea and trial preparation hearing on 12 January 2022, the defendants entered not guilty pleas but later changed their pleas on 13 April 2022 at the pre-trial review. At their sentencing, the judge uplifted their sentence for the racially aggravated assault from 18 months to two years.
On 15 August 2022, the 32-year-old defendant from Droitwich had made a fire in his back garden which resulted in the firefighters being called to put the fire out. The defendant then started accusing various people of calling the firefighters including the victim who was inside his flat but could hear the defendant shouting transphobic and homophobic abuse. The defendant then kicked and damaged a door at the flat and was charged with criminal damage and with breaching his Community Protection Notice by disturbing his neighbours. The defendant initially failed to attend court however he then appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on 11 November 2022 where he pleaded guilty to criminal damage and to breaching his community protection notice. He was fined £200 for the community protection notice breach and was informed that this had been increased by £80 to reflect the hate crime. He was fined a further £120 for the criminal damage, was ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim and £50 compensation for damage to the door. A criminal behaviour order was also granted for two years prohibiting him from causing any type of nuisance which disturbed or caused upset to residents or visitors to the road and contacting a named person.
On 1 November 2021, the 43-year-old defendant, from Coventry, who was the ex-partner of the victim’s mother, shouted homophobic abuse at the victim and physically assaulted the victim after showing up unexpectedly at the victim’s property. Police were called, and the defendant also lunged towards one officer and attempted to headbutt another officer. He was arrested and was charged with assault by beating and with assaulting two emergency workers. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced at Coventry Magistrates’ Court on 23 November 2022. He received a 26-week sentence of imprisonment for the assault. The court informed him that the sentence would have been 18 weeks in custody however the sentence was increased to reflect the hate crime. He was also made subject of a restraining order which ordered the defendant not to contact the victim or attend his road for a period of two years.
On 1 December 2021, the defendant directed homophobic abuse at a shop assistant, who along with a colleague had tried to stop the defendant who was being suspected of shoplifting, from escaping. The defendant was detained, arrested and appeared at Telford Magistrates’ Court on 1 November 2022 where he pleaded guilty to one count of assault by beating and two counts of assaulting an emergency worker. He received a sentence of 18 weeks' imprisonment which had been increased by three weeks to reflect the hate crime, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim.
On 6 February 2022, the 25-year-old Walsall man, who was drunk, requested a taxi and at the end of the journey, he subjected the taxi driver to racist and religious abuse. The taxi driver was asked to drive the defendant to the police station and on the way there, the defendant repeatedly kicked at items in the taxi causing the victim to stop in fear. The defendant then got out of the taxi and ran away but was detained by police officers. He kicked out at one of the officers, making no contact. He was arrested, searched, found to be in possession of drugs and was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence, assaulting an emergency worker and possession of drugs. He initially denied the charges, but changed his pleas to guilty to all matters. He was sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 17 November 2022, where he received a sentence of 18 weeks' imprisonment in relation to the racially aggravated public order offence which had been increased by three weeks to reflect the hate crime. He received a further 12 consecutive weeks for the assault giving him a total sentence of 30 weeks. He also received a concurrent two week sentence for the drugs offence and was also ordered to pay £75 to both victims.
On 29 December 2021 the defendants, aged 26 and 36, both of Bedworth, Warwickshire, attended a football match between Coventry City and Milwall. The first defendant was unable to produce a ticket and proceeded to racially abuse a steward and behave in a disorderly way. At Coventry Magistrates’ Court on 27 October 2022, the first defendant pleaded guilty to assault and a racially aggravated section 5 public order offence. He was fined £415 for the assault and £415 for the racially aggravated public order offence. He was informed that the sentence had been increased to reflect the hate crime. The court also imposed a three-year football banning order. The second defendant pleaded guilty to a s5 public order offence, was fined £200 and also received a three-year football banning order.
In October 2021, a 32-year-old Telford man repeatedly shouted racist abuse and threats towards his neighbour. He was charged with racially aggravated harassment and pleaded guilty at court. He was sentenced at Newcastle-Under-Lyme Magistrates’ Court on 1 November 2022 where he received a 15-week sentence of imprisonment which had been increased by three weeks to reflect the hate crime. He was also ordered to pay £150 to the victim and to pay costs of £185 and the victim surcharge of £126.