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CPS Yorkshire and Humberside: Hate crime sentence uplift examples - January-March 2020

|News, Hate crime

Under hate crime legislation the courts must pass increased sentences where prosecutors show evidence that offences have been motivated by hostility towards a person’s race, religion, disability, transgender identity or sexual orientation. Below are examples of hate crime cases prosecuted by CPS Yorkshire and Humberside between January and March 2020 which resulted in a conviction and an uplifted sentence.

Disability hate crime cases:

1. The defendant sent a series of messages from someone else’s Facebook account to the victim making offensive comments about her learning disability. She was found guilty after trial of sending by public communication network an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message. She was sentenced to a 26-week curfew from 9pm to 9am uplifted from 20 weeks and a two-year Restraining Order. She was also ordered to pay £100 costs, £315 compensation and an £85 victim surcharge (North Yorkshire).

Religiously and Racially aggravated cases:

1. The defendant religiously and racially abused an officer both in English and Punjabi after he was arrested for possession of a class B drug. The defendant pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that was racially aggravated with intent to cause harassment. He was sentenced to a band D fine of £273 uplifted from a band C fine. He was also ordered to pay £85 towards prosecution costs, and a £32 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire).

2. The defendant racially and religiously abused a group of Asian females with children on a bus. He also threatened another passenger with violence after they tried to intervene. The defendant pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and intentionally using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that may result in someone fearing the use of violence. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order and a 25-day Rehabilitative Activity Requirement, uplifted from 15 days. He was also ordered to pay £85 towards prosecution costs, and a £90 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire).

3. The defendant verbally abused officers by using religious, racist and homophobic words. He pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause another harassment, alarm or distress that was religiously aggravated and behaving in public in a way that someone present may be caused harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment, uplifted from 12 weeks. He was also ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire).

Racially aggravated cases:

1. The defendant was part of a group of people. They attended the victim's address, caused damage to the front door and made threats towards the victim using racially abusive language. The defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of affray. He was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, uplifted from five months, suspended for two years. The defendant was also ordered to pay the victim £500 compensation, to be subject to a six-month curfew, and to undertake 200 hours’ unpaid work (West Yorkshire).

2. The defendant assaulted and racially abused two of her support workers and made threats to stab both of them whilst brandishing a knife. She also caused damage to office equipment. The defendant pleaded guilty to two charges of racially aggravated common assault, and one charge of causing criminal damage. She was sentenced to a 12-month Youth Referral Order, uplifted from nine months (West Yorkshire).

3. The defendant assaulted his ex-partner and her friend, and racially abused a neighbour. He pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating, and one charge of using racially threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause another harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to an 18-month Community Order, a 25-day Rehabilitative Activity Requirement, and 200 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 150 hours. A three-year Restraining Order was also imposed (North Yorkshire).

4. The defendant punched the victim causing him to fall to the ground and shouted racial abuse at him which included the phrase, “go back home”. The defendant pleaded guilty on the day of trial to racially aggravated common assault. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, 300 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 200 hours, and a four-month curfew uplifted from two months. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim, £250 towards prosecution costs, and an £85 victim surcharge (North Yorkshire).

5. The defendant verbally abused the victim in a racial manner on multiple occasions over a five-month period. On two occasions the defendant’s behaviour escalated causing witnesses to intervene to protect the victim. The defendant pleaded guilty to pursuing a course of conduct which amounted to harassment which was racially aggravated, and two charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment that was racially aggravated. He was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment uplifted from three months, to run concurrently (South Yorkshire).

6. The defendant racially abused two security guards after they detained him for stealing items from a shop. The defendant was arrested and taken to hospital for treatment where he racially abused a doctor. The defendant pleaded guilty to three counts of racially aggravated intentional harassment. For each count he was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment uplifted from two months, but reduced to three months for entering an early guilty plea. The Judge ordered that the sentences for the counts against the security guards ran consecutively and the count against the Doctor concurrently (West Yorkshire).

7. The defendant posted messages on Facebook that were threatening towards the victim and racially abusive towards the victim's new partner. The defendant pleaded guilty to sending an electronic communication which conveyed a threat for the purpose of causing distress or anxiety. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, 200 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 150 hours, and a ten-day Rehabilitative Activity Requirement. He was also ordered to pay £200 towards prosecution costs and a £90 victim surcharge. A two-year Restraining Order was also imposed (West Yorkshire).

8. Officers were called to a nightclub after the defendant had threatened several people with violence. On arrest, the defendant racially abused an officer and threatened him with violence. The defendant pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment that was racially aggravated. He was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment uplifted from two months, to run concurrent to the sentence he received for other offences. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge (South Yorkshire).

9. The defendant assaulted his partner and repeatedly used racially abusive language towards her. He pleaded guilty to controlling and coercive behaviour. He was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment, uplifted from 27 months. This was reduced to 28 months due to the defendant’s guilty plea. A five-year Restraining Order was also imposed (Humberside).

Homophobic hate crime cases:

1. The defendant voiced religious and racial opinions, and used homophobic words towards a security guard before defacing a poster displayed on a wall. He was convicted after trial of criminal damage, religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and intentionally using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause fear of violence. The defendant was sentenced to a total of nine weeks’ imprisonment, uplifted from a Community Order (Humberside).

2. A store assistant refused to serve the defendant alcohol because he was already in drink. The defendant shouted homophobic words and made threats towards the store assistant. He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to intentionally using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced to an 18-month Community Order and a six-month alcohol treatment plan. The court also issued a curfew, uplifted to eight months, but reduced to six months in view of the defendant’s guilty plea. The defendant was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim, an £85 victim surcharge, and £300 towards prosecution costs (North Yorkshire).

3. Whilst in police custody for breaching a court order, the defendant used homophobic language towards an officer. The defendant pleaded guilty to intentionally using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment uplifted from eight weeks. He was also ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire).

4. The defendant assaulted a hospital security guard. The police attended and the defendant assaulted one officer and repeatedly shouted homophobic words at the other officers. The defendant pleaded guilty to assault by beating, assault by beating of an emergency worker, and intentionally using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, 200 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 160 hours and a 21-day Thinking Skills programme. The defendant was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the security guard and £50 to the officer (West Yorkshire).

5. The defendant used racially abusive words towards one officer and homophobic words towards another. He pleaded guilty to intentionally using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause fear of violence and intentionally racially aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order and a 15-day Rehabilitative Activity Requirement, uplifted to include 80 hours’ unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £85 towards prosecution costs, and a £90 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire).

6. The defendant made a series of insulting and homophobic comments towards an officer as the officer removed him from a hotel. He pleaded guilty to intentionally using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced to a six-month Community Order and a 12-day Rehabilitative Activity Requirement, uplifted to include a £50 fine. He was also ordered to complete the Manage My Emotions Course, pay £100 compensation, £85 towards prosecution costs, and a £90 victim surcharge (North Yorkshire).

Transphobic hate crime cases:

1. The defendant went to meet the victim at her house after exchanging messages on a dating app. On discovering the victim is transgender, the defendant became abusive and smashed a window. He pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and was sentenced to a 12-week curfew uplifted from eight weeks and a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation and a £90 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire).

2. The defendant poured petrol through the victim’s letterbox and set fire to her property. The victim had previously had problems with the defendant, who repeatedly misgendered her. The defendant pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to the endangerment of life. Due to the aggravating features in the case the Judge uplifted the sentence from a starting point of four years to five years and ten months’ imprisonment. A ten-year Restraining Order was also imposed (South Yorkshire).

Read more about how the CPS prosecutes hate crimes.

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