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CPS Yorkshire and Humberside: Hate crime sentence uplift examples, October-December 2019

|News, Hate crime

Under hate crime legislation the courts must pass increased sentences where prosecutors evidence that offences have been motivated by hostility towards a person’s race, religion, disability, transgender identity or sexuality. Below are examples of hate crime cases prosecuted by Yorkshire and Humberside CPS between October 2019 and December 2019 which resulted in a conviction and an uplifted sentence.

Religiously aggravated cases:

1.    The victim asked the defendant to leave her shop as he had brought his dog inside despite a sign on the door saying dogs are not allowed. When the victim challenged him, he mimicked her accent and offered her a bite of his bacon sandwich. This was intended to cause offence as he presumed her to be Muslim. He was found guilty after trial of causing religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order with a 15-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, uplifted from 12 days, and 80 hours’ unpaid work, uplifted from 60 hours. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim (South Yorkshire).

2.    The defendant approached the victim in a city centre and shouted abusive slurs about the victim’s religious beliefs before following the victim causing her to fear walking home in case the defendant followed her. The defendant pleaded guilty to putting a person in fear of religiously aggravated violence by harassment. She was also sentenced for two racially aggravated offences against the same victim that had occurred on a separate occasion. She received a 12-month Community Order and 200 hours unpaid work, uplifted from 125 hours. She was also ordered to pay £500 compensation and the court issued a 12-month Restraining Order (North Yorkshire).

3.    The defendant intentionally harassed the victim by shouting verbal abuse at her about her religious beliefs. He  pleaded guilty to causing religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress and was sentenced to 16 weeks' imprisonment, uplifted from 10 weeks. He was also ordered to pay £40 compensation (South Yorkshire).

Racially aggravated cases:

1.    The defendant stole a purse from an elderly woman in a hospital and racially abused a doctor when he was confronted over the theft. He pleaded guilty to theft and racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, uplifted from six months (Humberside).

2.    The defendant threw items at the victim’s taxi causing the windscreen to smash, physically assaulted the victim, and verbally abused the victim using racially abusive words. A guilty plea to racially aggravated assault was accepted by the Prosecution and the defendant was sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order for 15 months, uplifted from 12 months. The defendant was also ordered to pay £50 compensation and a £30 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire).

3.    The defendant attended the home of his partner and was seen by witnesses to push his partner to the ground. Knowing that his actions had been observed the defendant approached the witnesses and physically assaulted both of them, and made racially abusive comments to one, and homophobic comments to the other. Guilty pleas to racially aggravated assault and assault by beating were accepted by the Prosecution. The defendant was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order and 135 hours unpaid, uplifted from 100 hours due to the racial and homophobic comments. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation and a £85 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire).

4.    The defendant became abusive when she was asked to leave a shop by store staff because she was drunk and bothering staff and customers. She physically assaulted two members of staff and used racially abusive words towards one as she was escorted from the premises. The defendant pleaded guilty to one charge of racially aggravated assault and one charge of assault by beating. She was sentenced to four months' imprisonment, uplifted from two months, for the racial aggravated assault, and one months' imprisonment to run consecutively for the assault by beating (Humberside).

5.    The defendant refused to provide his details to officers and was subsequently arrested. Unhappy with this course of action, the defendant physically assaulted and racially abused the arresting officer, and caused damage to the police vehicle. The defendant was convicted after trial of racially aggravated common assault, and of criminal damage. For the assault he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, uplifted from four, and one months' imprisonment to run consecutively for the criminal damage. The defendant was also ordered to pay £670 in compensation, and £400 towards Prosecution costs (South Yorkshire).

6.    The defendant became aggressive and used racially abusive words towards an officer whilst being transported to the police station. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to 10 weeks' imprisonment, uplifted to 14 weeks, but this was reduced to 12 weeks for because the defendant entered a guilty plea (West Yorkshire).

7.    The defendant shouted racially abusive words and threatened to use violence towards the victim whilst he attempted to take her phone. The defendant pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault and was sentenced to 12 weeks' imprisonment, uplifted from eight weeks' imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay £75 in compensation (West Yorkshire).

8.    The defendant shouted racial abuse at the victim on a bus. When the victim alighted the defendant followed and threw a glass bottle which smashed, causing a shard of glass to hit the victim. The defendant pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault. He was sentenced to 20 weeks' imprisonment, uplifted from 16 weeks, and ordered to pay £150 compensation (South Yorkshire).

9.    The defendant got into a taxi and during the journey shouted racial abuse at the driver. When stationary at a red traffic light the defendant punched the driver to the stomach and got out of the taxi without paying the taxi fare. The defendant pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault by beating, and making off without payment. He was sentenced to a 12-week Community Order with a 20 day Rehabilitative Activity Requirement, uplifted from 10 days. The defendant was also ordered to complete 170 hours of unpaid work, uplifted from 120 hours, and to pay £100 compensation, a £85 victim surcharge, and £85 towards prosecution costs (West Yorkshire).

10.    The defendant shouted at the victim to get back to her own country and kicked her to the stomach. A member of the victim’s family later saw a video on social media in which the defendant disclosed the incident and laughed. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated common assault. She was sentenced to a six-month referral order, uplifted from four months (North Yorkshire).

11.    The defendant made numerous phone calls and sent multiple text messages to the victim which contained racially abusive language and were very threatening in nature. The defendant pleaded guilty to putting a person in fear of racially aggravated violence by harassment. He was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, uplifted from 10 months. A Restraining Order for a period of five years was also imposed (South Yorkshire).

Homophobic hate crime cases:

1.    The victim witnessed the defendant shouting threats at another person in a public place so called the police. Due to this the defendant threatened to hit the victim and verbally abused him in a homophobic manner. The defendant pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause that person to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used against them. The defendant was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order uplifted to a direct alternative to custody, a 20-day Rehabilitative Activity Requirement, and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim (West Yorkshire).

2.    The defendant verbally abused a neighbour and assaulted her by throwing some turf which hit her on the arm. When the neighbour’s partner tried to intervene the defendant was abusive, using homophobic language, and caused the neighbours partner to fear that the defendant would hit her. The defendant was found guilty after trial of common assault and assault by beating. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order with a 15-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, and to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work, uplifted from 60 hours. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to each victim and a 12-month Restraining Order was imposed (West Yorkshire).

3.    The defendant wore a swastika hat to a Gay Pride event and was found to have a knife in his possession. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to possession of a knife and displaying writing, a sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order with a 15-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, a 12-week curfew and an £80 fine, uplifted from £40. He was also ordered to pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 towards prosecution costs, and the court ordered the destruction of the knife and hat (South Yorkshire).

4.    The defendant assaulted a bar manager by punching him a number of times and making homophobic comments to him, and scratched a police officer upon her arrest. She pleaded guilty to assault by beating and assaulting an emergency worker. She was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, uplifted from eight weeks, suspended for 12 months, and a ten-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. She was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire).

5.    The defendant assaulted three police officers and verbally abused three others using homophobic and racist language. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to three charges of assaulting an emergency worker, two charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress and one charge of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 16-week curfew uplifted from a financial penalty. He was also ordered to pay compensation to each officer (West Yorkshire).

6.    Whilst being transported to custody the defendant repeatedly shouted homophobic abuse at a police officer. He pleaded guilty to intentionally using abusive or insulting words or behaviour to intentionally cause harassment, alarm or distress. The defendant was also charged with intentionally using racially abusive or insulting words or behaviour to intentionally cause harassment, alarm or distress to another officer. The defendant received a 12-month Community Order and a 14-week electronically tagged curfew, uplifted from an 8-week curfew. He was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to each victim (South Yorkshire).

Transphobic hate crime cases:

1.    The defendant exposed himself to two trans women in a car park and masturbated in front of them. He was found guilty after trial of exposure. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order with a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 300 hours’ unpaid work, uplifted from 150 hours. He was also ordered to pay £620 towards prosecution costs, a £90 victim surcharge, and to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years (West Yorkshire).

You can find more information on how the CPS prosecutes hate crimes on our Hate Crime page.

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