Successful Hate Crime Cases February 2021 - CPS West Midlands
In February 2021, CPS West Midlands Magistrates' Court unit successfully prosecuted a range of hate crime cases. Below are just a handful of the cases we prosecuted.
On 21 August 2020, Lee France, of Leeds, threatened a fare collector at Leeds railway station before throwing his travel card at him. France then proceeded to direct homophobic abuse at another member of staff. When he was arrested, France was found to be in possession of two knives. At the first hearing on 1 February, he pleaded guilty to three public order offences and two charges of possessing a bladed article. On 23 February at Leeds Magistrates' Court, France was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment suspended for one year and informed his sentence had been increased by two months to reflect the offence's hate crime nature.
In June 2020, Walton Wesley Williams, of Warwickshire, made racist and homophobic comments towards the two victims who were also occupants of the same multi-occupancy house as Williams. He denied the offences but was convicted following a trial at Coventry Magistrates' Court on 18 February 2021. Williams was sentenced to a 12-month community order and informed that the order had been increased by one week to reflect the hate crime element of the offence. He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation to each of the victims.
On 4 November 2019, three youths from Birmingham approached a 13-year-old who identifies as a female. They made comments about her transgender identity and told her to kill herself. One youth threatened to stab her with the knife he was carrying, leading her to fear that she would be stabbed. They were all charged with a public order offence, and one was also charged with possession of a bladed article. At Birmingham Magistrates' Court on 20 August 2020, having pleaded guilty, two of the youths were sentenced to a five-month referral order. The judge increased the length of their orders by one month to reflect the offence's hate crime nature. The third youth pleaded guilty on the day of the trial on 25 February 2021 and was sentenced to a six-month referral order, and again the judge increased his order by one month to reflect the hate crime element. All three youths were ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim.
On 22 August 2019, Amar Ali of Birmingham pushed and slapped the first victim. When the police were called, he struggled with officers and was religiously abusive towards one of them. He was charged with assault by beating, possession of cannabis and a religiously aggravated public order offence. Ali initially denied the religiously aggravated offence but pleaded guilty on the day of trial at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on 24 February 2021. He had previously pleaded guilty to the other two offences at earlier hearings. Ali was sentenced to a 12-month community order and informed that the hours of unpaid work had been increased from 80 to 120 hours to reflect the offence's hate crime nature. He was also ordered to pay compensation to both victims.
While intoxicated, Kevin Machin of Redditch was racially abusive to the victim on 12 February 2021. He pleaded guilty at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court on 13 February and was sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He was informed that the sentence of imprisonment had been imposed to reflect the hate crime nature of his offending. Machin was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to the victim.
On 29 September 2020, Margaret Theresa Johnson of Birmingham stole a purse containing £450 from the 81-year-old victim while she was distracted while shopping. When Johnson was arrested the following day, she was racially abusive to the police officer. At Birmingham Magistrates' Court on 22 February 2021, she pleaded guilty to theft, a racially aggravated public order offence and possessing cannabis. Johnson was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for the theft, twelve weeks consecutive for the racially aggravated public order offence, and ordered to pay £500 compensation to the victim and £50 to the officer. She was informed that her custodial sentence had been increased by three weeks to reflect the hate crime element of the offence.