Successful Hate Crime Cases March 2021 - CPS West Midlands
In March 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 two occasions in August 2019 and March 2020, David Collins of Coventry posted threatening and transphobic messages on social media directed towards his ex-partner's new partner. He pleaded guilty to the first offence at the first hearing on 27 August 2020. Collins initially denied the second offence but changed his plea to guilty on the day of trial at Coventry Magistrates' Court on 9 March 2021. He was sentenced to an 18-month community order and ordered to perform 80 hours of unpaid work. Collins was informed that the number of hours unpaid work had been increased to reflect the transphobic nature of the offence.
On 16 March 2021, when police officers arrested Stephen Carr of Birmingham, to prevent a breach of the peace, he directed racist, homophobic, religious and disability abuse towards the officers. At Coventry Magistrates' Court on 31 March, Carr pleaded guilty to two racially and religiously aggravated public order offences and received a fine of £480. The court doubled his financial penalty to reflect the hate crime nature of each offence.
Billy Connell, of no fixed abode, directed homophobic abuse at a revenue protection inspector who challenged him as to why he was not wearing a mask abroad a train. He also made comments about her perceived disability. At Brighton Magistrates' Court on 8 March, Connell pleaded guilty and received a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 40 hours of unpaid work. He was informed that this had been increased from 30 hours to reflect the hate crime nature of the offence. Connell was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim.
On 13 January 2021, Damian Tustane of Redditch entered a supermarket on two occasions, taking goods without payment. When a store worker challenged him on the second occasion, Tustane racially abused and assaulted him. On 2 March, at Coventry Magistrates' Court, Tustane pleaded guilty to three counts of theft from a shop and one count of racially aggravated assault. He was sentenced to 11 weeks' imprisonment for the racially aggravated assault and informed that the sentence had been increased by three weeks to reflect the hate crime nature of the offence. He also received a further four weeks in custody for the shop thefts, a total sentence of 15 weeks' imprisonment.
Tegan Downes of Worcestershire and her boyfriend engaged in an altercation with another male in a public house on 5 September 2020. The victim, a security director at a nearby venue, approached them to ascertain what was happening and ask them to leave. Downes assaulted and racially abused the victim when he attempted to remove them from the premises. She directed further racist abuse at another security officer when police officers arrived. At the first hearing on 11 February, Downes pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault and a racially aggravated public order offence. She was sentenced to 16 weeks' imprisonment suspended for 12 months at Worcester Magistrates Court on 22 March. She was informed that the sentence had been uplifted by four weeks to reflect the hate crime nature of the offences. Downes was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to the victim.
While being arrested for a separate motoring offence on 3 February 2021, Nicholas David Truman, of Kingswinford, was racially abusive towards the arresting police officer. At Dudley Magistrates' Court on 30 March, he pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence and received a 12-month community order which included 150 hours of unpaid work. Truman was informed that the hours of unpaid work had been increased from 100 to reflect the hate crime nature of the offence. He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation to the officer.