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CPS Yorkshire and Humberside: Hate crime sentence uplift examples, cases finalised July 2022

|News, Hate crime

Under the hate crime legislation, courts must treat offences more seriously where there is evidence that the offender demonstrated hostility on the basis of the victim’s actual or presumed race, religion, disability, transgender identity or sexual orientation, or the offence was motivated on the basis of hostility towards one of these characteristics. Below are some examples of hate crime cases prosecuted by CPS Yorkshire and Humberside in July 2022 which resulted in a conviction and an uplifted sentence.

Racially aggravated cases:

1.    The defendant approached the victim and asked him for cigarettes. When he refused, she was racially abusive towards him. She followed him into a public house, continuing the abuse and physically assaulted him. When police officers arrived, she spat at them and continued racially abusing the victim. She pleaded guilty at the first hearing in the Magistrates’ Court to using racially aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in public with the intent to cause someone present to fear the use of immediate unlawful violence and two charges of assaulting an emergency worker. She was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment, uplifted from three weeks, for the racially aggravated offence. She was also sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment for each of the assault charges and a Suspended Sentence Order previously imposed was activated so she will serve a total of 32 weeks’ imprisonment (Humberside case.)

2.    The victim and her partner were walking to their hotel when they were approached by the defendant. He was verbally abusive towards the couple, threw a lit cigarette at them and used racially offensive language to the victim. The defendant pleaded guilty on the day of the trial in the Crown Court to using racially aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in public which may result in someone present fearing the use of immediate unlawful violence. He was sentenced to a medium level Community Order, uplifted from a low-level order, and was made the subject of a Community Order for 18 months with 15 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days and a 90-day abstinence order (North Yorkshire case.) 

3.    The defendant was racially abusive towards his neighbour and caused damage to her garden fence. He pleaded guilty, prior to the trial at the Crown Court, to racially aggravated criminal damage. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, uplifted from a fine, and given 25 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days and 120 days Alcohol Treatment Requirement. He was also given a Restraining Order for five years (South Yorkshire case.) 

4.    The defendant was seen leaving a store with items that he had not paid for. When the security guards challenged him, he became abusive and used racially aggravated language towards them. He pleaded guilty at the Magistrates’ Court to using racially aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in public with the intent to cause someone present to fear the use of immediate unlawful violence. He was sentenced to a Community Order of 12 months with 20 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days, uplifted from a fine, and ordered to pay £400 compensation (West Yorkshire case.) 

Homophobic hate crime cases:

1.    The victim was in his garden when a neighbour used homophobic abuse towards him.  The defendant pleaded guilty prior to the trial to a charge of harassment and was sentenced to a Community Order of 12 months, with 15 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days, uplifted from 5 days. She was fined £100 and ordered to pay £200 compensation, a victim surcharge of £95 and £150 costs. She was also given a restraining order not to contact the victim for 5 years (South Yorkshire case.) 

2.    The victim approached the defendant, who was asleep in the street, and asked him to move away from the area. The defendant subjected him to homophobic abuse for a prolonged period. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing in the Magistrates’ Court to behaving in public in a way that someone present may be caused harassment, alarm, or distress by that behaviour. He was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment, uplifted from three weeks, and ordered to pay £128 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case.) 

3.    The victim was walking past the defendant when he used homophobic abuse towards her and then assaulted her. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing in the Magistrates’ Court to common assault and was sentenced to a Community Order of 12 months with 80 hours of unpaid work, uplifted from 20 hours and was ordered to pay £200 compensation (West Yorkshire case.)

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