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CPS Yorkshire and Humberside: Hate crime sentence uplift examples, July-September 2021

|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 sexual orientation. We are now seeing more cases concluding in the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts after a dip caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a high number of successful outcomes in hate crime prosecutions. Below are some examples of hate crime cases prosecuted by CPS Yorkshire and Humberside between July and September 2021 which resulted in a conviction and an uplifted sentence.

Racially and religiously aggravated cases

1. The defendant approached the victims in the street and was abusive towards them. The abuse towards one victim was racially aggravated. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing 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 using 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 12 month Community Order with 20 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days, uplifted from 10 days. He was also ordered to pay the victim of the racially aggravated offence £300 compensation (South Yorkshire case). 

2. The victim was walking through town when the defendant approached her, punched her in the face, tried to remove her headscarf and was racially abusive towards her. He was found guilty after trial of racially aggravated common assault and sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with 35 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days, uplifted from 25 days. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation, £100 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).

3. The defendant was asked to leave a public house and was racially abusive and violent towards door staff. He was found guilty after trial of common assault and 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 12-month Community Order with 25 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days, uplifted from 20 days, and 100 hours’ unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to each of the victims, £200 costs and a £95 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).

4. The defendant sent several racially abusive messages to the victim, which also referred to her religion. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated harassment and was sentenced to an 18-month Community Order with 25 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days and 250 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 200 hours. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs, a £95 victim surcharge and was placed under a Restraining Order not to contact the victim for an indefinite period (West Yorkshire case).

5. The defendant approached the victim on a bus and was racially abusive towards her. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing 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 Detention and Training Order for four months uplifted from a Community Order and ordered to pay a £34 victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case). 

6. A security guard checked a property and found the defendant inside. When he asked the defendant to leave, the defendant became racially abusive and threatening towards him. The police were called, and the defendant assaulted a police officer as he was being arrested. The defendant pleaded guilty on the day of the trial to racially aggravated fear of violence and assaulting an emergency worker. He was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, uplifted from two months for the racial charge, and one-month imprisonment for the assault on an emergency worker. He was also committed for sentence on other charges and will serve a total of 16 months’ imprisonment (Humberside case).

7. The defendant entered a shop and started to put items in his bag. He was confronted by the shop owner and was racially abusive towards him. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to theft and behaving in public in a racially abusive way that someone present may be caused harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to 28 days’ imprisonment, uplifted from a suspended sentence (Humberside case).

8. A male and female were arguing, and the victim approached to see if everything was ok. The female subjected the victim to racial abuse, so he walked away. She followed the victim continuing the racial abuse and directed more abuse to other members of the public in the vicinity. The defendant pleaded guilty prior to the trial to two charges of 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. She was sentenced to 42 weeks’ imprisonment, uplifted from 37 weeks. She was also ordered to pay a £128 victim surcharge and £100 costs (West Yorkshire case). 

9. The defendant was abusive towards a neighbour and then went on to be racially abusive towards a second family. The police were called and upon arrest the defendant assaulted police officers and used homophobic abuse towards an officer. She pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in public with the intent to cause someone present to fear the use of immediate unlawful violence, 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, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in public which may result in someone present fearing the use of immediate unlawful violence towards a police officer and five charges of assaulting an emergency worker. She received a total custodial sentence of 13 months and one week suspended for 2 years and 40 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days, uplifted from a Community Order for the racial and homophobic aggravation. She was also excluded from the victims’ road for the duration of the order (West Yorkshire case).

10. The defendant sent racially aggravated messages to a family member. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to sending a letter, communication or article conveying an indecent or offensive message. He was sentenced to a Community Order with 270 hours’ unpaid work and 20 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days. The uplift was the addition of the Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days. He was also ordered to pay £620 costs and a £90 victim surcharge (North Yorkshire case).

11. The defendant was sitting on the floor in the centre of town and was asked to move by the Liaison Officers. He was racially abusive towards the officers and was charged with 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 pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 weeks’ imprisonment, uplifted from 14 weeks. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £128 (South Yorkshire case).

12. The defendant was trying to get a taxi home and he began arguing with a taxi driver. He became racially abusive and caused damage to the windows of the taxi. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated criminal damage and was sentenced to an 18-month Community Order with 20 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days and 150 hours’ unpaid work, uplifted from a fine. He was also ordered to pay £300 compensation (South Yorkshire case).

13. The defendant was found taking items from a store and was apprehended by the security guard. He was racially abusive towards the guard and assaulted him. He was also racially abusive to the police officers when they attended. He assaulted a police officer and caused her to become unconscious. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault, using racially aggravated behaviour that someone present may be caused harassment, alarm or distress and racially aggravated common assault. He was sentenced to a total of 30 months’ imprisonment, uplifted from 19 months and ordered to pay a victim surcharge (West Yorkshire case).

14. The defendant approached the victim and was racially abusive towards her, before assaulting her. She pleaded guilty on the day of the trial to racially aggravated common assault and was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order with 10 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days and 100 hours’ unpaid work, uplifted from 80 hours. She was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim (West Yorkshire case).

Disability hate crime cases

1. The defendant damaged a neighbour’s car and sent offensive messages on social media regarding the victim’s daughters’ disability. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to criminal damage and sending an article conveying a threatening message. He also pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress towards a police officer when he was arrested. He was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with 20 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days. The Rehabilitative Activity Requirement was the uplift. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge (South Yorkshire case).

2. The defendant sent offensive text messages to the victim, which referred to her disability. She pleaded guilty at the first hearing to two charges of sending a communication of an offensive nature. She was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with 25 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days, uplifted from 20 days. She was ordered to pay a £20 fine, a £95 victim surcharge and £45 costs. She was also given a Restraining Order not to contact the victim for 12 months (South Yorkshire case).

Homophobic hate crime cases

1. The defendant entered the reception at his housing complex and subjected the support worker to homophobic abuse. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to behaving in public in a way that someone present may be caused harassment, alarm or distress. He was fined £120. The fine was uplifted from a Band C to Band D. He was also ordered to pay a £34 victim surcharge, £85 costs and £50 compensation (West Yorkshire case).

2. The defendant was abusive towards members of staff in a public house and used threatening and homophobic language towards them. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in public which may result in someone present fearing the use of immediate unlawful violence and using 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 an 18-month Community Order with 20 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days and 150 hours’ unpaid work, uplifted from 100 hours. He was also ordered to pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 costs (South Yorkshire case).

Transphobic hate crime cases

1. The victim, who identifies as female, was walking through the city centre when she was targeted by a group of youths who used insulting language towards her. She fell over and the group punched and kicked her and stole her bag. Two defendants were charged with robbery. The first defendant, a youth, pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to a ten-month Referral Order, uplifted from eight months. The second defendant pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to attend an accredited thinking skills programme. He was also given 50 Rehabilitative Activity Requirement days, placed under a curfew for seven days and ordered to complete 100 hours’ unpaid work (West Yorkshire case).

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