CPS West Midlands: Successful Hate Crime Cases September 2023
In September 2023, the CPS West Midlands Magistrates' and Crown Court units successfully prosecuted various hate crime cases. Below are some of the cases.
Following a road traffic accident on 2 June 2023, a woman racially abused the police officer who arrested her for taking a car without the owner’s permission. She was charged with a racially aggravated s4A public order offence, aggravated vehicle taking and failing to provide a specimen of breath while her male passenger was charged with allowing himself to be carried in a motor vehicle which had been take without permission and which was damaged.
The defendants appeared at Dudley Magistrates’ Court on 12 September 2023 where they both pleaded guilty and were sentenced. The female defendant received a 15-week custodial sentence for failing to provide a specimen and a concurrent 15-week sentence for aggravated vehicle taking. She received a 9-week custodial sentence for the racially aggravated public order offence which had been increased by three weeks to reflect the hate crime. Her total custodial sentence of 24 weeks was suspended for 12 months. She was ordered to pay £135 costs and £200 compensation to the officer and was disqualified from driving for 12 months. The other defendant received a community order.
In February 2022, the 44-year-old defendant from Birmingham threatened to damage property and racially abused one of the housing officers who had visited him in relation to some housing issues. He pleaded guilty to using racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment/alarm/distress through words/writing. He also accepted that he made threats to cause damage. He was sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 18 September 2023 to an 18-month community order which included 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days. His sentence had also been uplifted by five days to reflect the hate crime. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim, £120 fine and £114 victim surcharge.
On 24 July 2022, a 28-year-old man from Dudley racially abused workers in a takeaway in Bilston and argued with staff about an order. He then repeatedly phoned the takeaway on 6 August 2022 and was racially and religiously abusive. He pleaded guilty to the racially aggravated public order offence and racially aggravated harassment and was sentenced on 25 September 2023. He received a community order for 12 months which included 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was informed that he would have received a fine, however the sentence was increased to reflect the hate crime. He was also ordered to pay other fines totalling £150 and £200 compensation to the victim.
A 38-year-old Birmingham man who posted videos that were grossly offensive or of an indecent or menacing character on social media has been sentenced. On 21 September 2022, the defendant posted a video which was hostile and threatening towards another religious community and was charged with a communications act offence. He first appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 19 January 2023 where he denied the offence. However, he was convicted after trial and was sentenced at the same court on 19 September 2023 to 18 weeks imprisonment which was suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to take part in 32 rehabilitation activity requirement days and was ordered to pay the £156 victim surcharge and £150 costs. The court told him that the hate crime had been taken into account as an aggravating feature of the offence.
In February and March 2023, a 16-year-old girl who repeatedly subjected a member of rail staff to transphobic abuse, was sentenced after she admitted that she used threatening / abusive / insulting words / behaviour to cause harassment / alarm / distress. She was sentenced at Worthing Youth Court to a 10-month referral order which had been increased to reflect the hate crime.
A 34-year-old Walsall man has been sentenced for the homophobic abuse of a police officer who arrested him for shoplifting. On 20 July 2023, following his arrest for theft, the defendant verbally assaulted the police officers before hurling homophobic abuse at one of the officers. He admitted using threatening abusive / insulting words / behaviour to cause harassment / alarm / distress. He was sentenced at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court on 31 August 2023 and received a 15-month community order which had been increased by three months to reflect the hate crime. He was also ordered to perform 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days, pay £50 compensation to the officer, fined £50 and ordered to pay the £114 victim surcharge.
A 58-year-old Birmingham man who racially abused his neighbour has been given a suspended prison sentence. On 11 November 2021, the defendant hurled racist abuse towards the victim before attacking the victim with a metal bar. The victim sustained a cut to the back of his head as a result of the assault and the defendant was charged with racially aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon. He pleaded not guilty to both offences but was found guilty following a trial. He was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, which had been uplifted from 16 months, but suspended for two years for the racially aggravated offence. He was also made subject to a six month electronically-monitored curfew, a community order and was ordered to pay £300 compensation to the victim.
A 34-year-old Walsall man who racially abused a woman and proudly insisted he was racist, has been convicted of a racially aggravated offence. The defendant was sentenced to four months imprisonment which was suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid work and pay £350 compensation to the victim. The sentencing judge commented that he uplifted the sentence from a community order due to the racial aggravation.
Following arrest for unrelated offences, the 31-year-old Birmingham man was racially abusive towards a police officer. While in custody, the defendant smeared excrement in his cell. He was charged with causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress and criminal damage. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment for the racially aggravated which had been uplifted by two months to reflect the hate crime. He was also sentenced to two months imprisonment for criminal damage to be served consecutively.