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CPS Yorkshire and Humberside: Hate crime sentence uplift examples - Cases finalised between July and September 2020

|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 we have seen a high number of successful outcomes in hate crime prosecutions locally. Below are some examples of hate crime cases prosecuted by CPS Yorkshire and Humberside between July and September 2020 which resulted in a conviction and an uplifted sentence.

Racially and religiously aggravated cases:

1.    The defendant was arrested in connection with two burglaries. Upon his arrest, he was aggressive towards the officers, racially abusing one of them. He pleaded guilty of two counts of burglary and one count of causing harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing which was racially aggravated. He was sentenced to a total of nine months’ imprisonment which included two months for the racially aggravated offence, which had been uplifted from one month. (Humberside case)

2.    The defendant started an altercation with a dog walker in a public park and threatened to throw a bottle of beer at him. He then defecated in public, exposing his penis as he did so, which was also witnessed by an off-duty police officer and his family, including his two young children. When challenged, the defendant was abusive to the officer, making threats towards his daughter. The officer managed to detain the defendant, who shouted racial insults before the police arrived. He pleaded guilty to outranging public decency, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress and racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence. He was sentenced to a total of 20 months’ imprisonment, which included four months for the racially aggravated offence, which had been uplifted from three months. (Humberside case)

3.    The defendant had been arrested for numerous domestic assaults on his girlfriend. Whilst in custody, he racially abused a detention officer. He pleaded guilty to coercive or controlling behaviour, making a threat to kill, sending an electronic communication with intent to cause distress or anxiety, two assaults on an emergency worker and causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress which was racially aggravated. He was sentenced to a total of two years and two months’ imprisonment, which included three months for the racially aggravated offence, which had been uplifted from a Community Order. (West Yorkshire case)

4.    The defendant and the victim are next door neighbours. The defendant was racially abusive and threatening towards the victim whilst both were stood in their respective front gardens. This was due to the victim’s children accidently throwing their ball into the defendant’s garden and receiving a torrent of abuse from the defendant. The abuse was witnessed by two other neighbours. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, a ten-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 100 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 80 hours. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case)

5.    Numerous members of the public noticed the defendant pacing outside a chapel in an agitated fashion. He was then seen to throw an object at the chapel, smashing a window. The reverend came outside and saw the defendant picking up another object and throw that at the chapel. An Imam tried to calm the defendant down, but he replied with offensive comments about Christians. He then charged at the reverend before being detained by members of the public until the police arrived. He pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated fear or provocation of violence by words or writing, religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing and religiously aggravated criminal damage. He was sentenced to a total of four months’ imprisonment suspended for two years with a 30-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a four-month curfew. This was uplifted from a Community Order. (West Yorkshire case)

6.    The defendant was drunk in the victim’s taxi and fell asleep. When the victim woke him, the defendant racially abused him and threatened to kill him before refusing to pay the fare and vomiting in the taxi. The victim called the police and the defendant continued to racially abuse him in the presence of police officers. This was captured on body worn camera. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence by words or writing. He was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment uplifted from eight weeks. He was also ordered to pay £100 costs and a £122 victim surcharge. (South Yorkshire case)

7.    The victim accidentally left his keys in the door to his flat. He had a shower and then heard his door slam. He realised someone had been in his flat and taken his keys. He looked out of the window and saw the defendant leaving the block of flats. He went after him asking for his keys, to which the defendant responded with racist abuse. The defendant also threatened the victim with violence. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence by words or writing. He was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment uplifted from one week. He was also ordered to pay £80 compensation. (South Yorkshire case)

8.    The defendant assaulted two members of staff at his sheltered accommodation after they told him to leave for being drunk. He was racially abusive to one of the staff members immediately before assaulting him. He pleaded guilty to assault by beating and racially aggravated common assault. He was sentenced to an 18-month Community Order, a nine-month Alcohol Treatment Requirement and a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement uplifted from ten days. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation. (West Yorkshire case)

9.    The defendant sent approximately 20 abusive messages to his social worker after she initiated an investigation into possible domestic abuse perpetrated by him. The messages contained racial abuse. He pleaded guilty to sending by public communication network an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message or matter. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, a 30-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 60 hours’ unpaid work uplifted from 40 hours. He was also ordered to pay £300 costs and a £90 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case)

10.    Over the course of several months, the defendant assaulted and verbally abused his partner. On one occasion he screamed racially abusive comments at her and kicked her to the leg. He pleaded guilty on the day of the trial to racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence by words or writing and common assault. He was sentenced to a two-year Community Order with a requirement to attend 31 days of sessions on Building Better Relationships and a further 15-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, uplifted to include the payment of a £150 fine. He was also ordered to pay a £90 victim surcharge and the court issued a 12-month Restraining Order. (Humberside case)  

11.    The defendant harassed the victim by telephoning a café he was sat in to tell them not to serve him, and sending him a series of offensive messages, some of which were racist in nature. The defendant was charged with racially aggravated harassment. She pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to an 18-month Conditional Discharge, uplifted from 12 months, and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. (Humberside case)

12.    The two defendants tried to goad a group of people standing outside a train station into a fight by making racist remarks about their presumed nationality. The defendants pleaded guilty to using racially threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in public which may result in someone present fearing the use of immediate unlawful violence. One of the defendants was sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment uplifted from 12 weeks. The other defendant was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order uplifted to include a fine of £200 and a 20 Day Rehabilitative Activity Requirement uplifted from ten days. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation. (North Yorkshire case)

13.    During a domestic altercation, the defendant racially abused a neighbour in the presence of attending police officers. The defendant was charged with using racially 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 eight weeks’ imprisonment uplifted from four weeks. He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation and the court imposed an 18-month Restraining Order. (North Yorkshire case)

14.    The defendant approached the victim’s car and repeatedly requested that the victim drive him to a named destination. Feeling worn down by the defendant’s persistent requests, the victim conceded. On arrival, the defendant changed his mind and asked the victim to drive him to another destination. The victim agreed but during the journey felt uncomfortable and asked the defendant to exit the vehicle. The defendant refused and so the victim drove to a police station to ask for assistance. On arrival, the defendant became aggressive and shouted racial abuse at the victim and pulled a knife out and made stabbing motions towards the victim before chasing the victim around his vehicle. The defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of racially aggravated common assault and a charge of possession of a knife blade. He was sentenced to 20 weeks’ imprisonment uplifted from 16 weeks. (South Yorkshire case)

15.    While being booked into custody, the defendant became aggressive and the custody sergeant ordered the defendant was taken straight to a cell. As police officers escorted the defendant to a cell they passed by another officer and the defendant repeatedly shouted racial abuse as this officer. The defendant pleaded guilty to using racially 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 four weeks' imprisonment, uplifted from two weeks, and ordered to pay £100 compensation. (South Yorkshire case)  

16.    The defendant is a known shoplifter. He was seen concealing two bottles of spirits in his rucksack by supermarket security. He was challenged and escorted into the office to wait for the police to arrive when he made racist comments to the security guard. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to 20 weeks’ imprisonment uplifted from 12 weeks. (West Yorkshire case)

Homophobic and transphobic cases:

1.    The defendant was drinking in a pub and made a series of sexual remarks to a female member of staff. The pub manager intervened and was subjected to homophobic abuse and threats from the defendant. The defendant then got into a fight with another man in the pub, who refused to cooperate with the police when they were called. The defendant pleaded guilty at the first hearing to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence. He was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. This was uplifted from a Community Order. He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation, £85 costs and a £122 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case)

2.    The defendant smashed a window at his mother’s house after being told he was no longer welcome there after taking drugs. He then smashed the glass in his uncle’s front door. He let himself in to his mother’s house a couple of days later despite being told not to return and he assaulted his mother. He was arrested and whilst in custody, he made transphobic remarks to a police officer and shouted racist abuse at another suspect who was in police custody. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to assault by beating, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress and two counts of criminal damage. He was sentenced to a total of 32 weeks’ imprisonment, which included two concurrent sentences of 16 weeks for the transphobic and racial offences, uplifted from 12 weeks. He was also ordered to pay a £128 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case)

3.    The defendant had been arrested after being seen throwing a cone at a vehicle, causing damage. He caused damage to the back seats of the police car and repeatedly made homophobic comments to one of the officers. He was removed from the car and retrained by officers after he claimed to be in possession of a knife. He continued to homophobically abuse the officer and assaulted him by spitting on him. He was placed in a second police vehicle, which he damaged by spitting in it, rendering it out of action until it had been deep cleaned. He pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal damage and assault of an emergency worker. He was sentenced to a total of 12 weeks’ imprisonment, which included eight weeks for the homophobic offence uplifted from six weeks. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation. (West Yorkshire case)

4.    The defendant was drunk in a shop and racially abused a member of staff. He then went outside and shouted more racial abuse and smashed a bottle of vodka. When police arrived and put him in a police car, the defendant was racially abusive to an officer and spat in the police car and threatened to urinate in the car. He was then moved to a police van and he shouted more racial abuse in the street whist being taken to the van. This was captured on body worn camera and was heard by members of the public. He pleaded guilty to two counts of racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing and criminal damage. He was sentenced to a £200 fine, uplifted from £120, but he was not in a position to pay it, so he was given one day’s detention. (West Yorkshire case)

5.    The defendant became abusive to bar staff in an LGBT-friendly bar at closing time when they asked her to leave. She shouted homophobic abuse at the staff before spitting at security personnel. She pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress and assault by beating. She was sentenced to a £323 fine, which was a Band C fine uplifted from a Band B fine. She was also ordered to pay £75 compensation to both victims, £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case)

6.    Officers were called to a potential domestic incident. Officers attended and removed the drunk defendant from the address. He was detained to prevent a further breach of the peace. Upon attendance at the police station, the defendant became increasingly disorderly and was acting in an aggressive manner. He sustained a self-inflicted head injury and was in the process of being booked out of the custody area to attend A&E when he became abusive to the arresting officers and threatened to blow their heads off with a shotgun. He shouted homophobic abuse at one of the officers. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to violent behaviour at a police station. He was sentenced to a £300 fine, uplifted from £200. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge. (South Yorkshire case)

7.    The defendant had stolen food and drink from a supermarket on five separate occasions. Whilst in police custody, he racially abused another detainee and homophobically abused two police officers, all of which was captured on body worn camera. He then damaged his cell by throwing food at the wall and urinating on the floor. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress, criminal damage and five counts of theft. He was sentenced to a total of 16 weeks’ imprisonment which included two concurrent sentences of 16 weeks, uplifted from 12 weeks, for the racially aggravated and homophobic offences. He was also ordered to pay a £128 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case)

8.    The defendant headbutted the victim outside a nightclub. Later that night, he punched the victim in the face rendering him unconscious. There had been previous tension between the two parties as the victim, a trans man, was in a relationship with defendant’s ex-girlfriend and the defendant had made transphobic comments in the past. On this occasion, the defendant called the victim by his former female name immediately before headbutting him. The victim sustained a fractured eye socket and cheekbone, a cut under his eye and a blood clot behind his eye. The defendant pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and inflicting grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, with the starting point increased by two months by way of an uplift. He was also sentenced to a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, 150 hours’ unpaid work and a three-month curfew. He was also ordered to pay a £149 victim surcharge and £3,000 compensation. A Restraining Order was also imposed. (West Yorkshire case)

9.    The defendant assaulted her neighbour before going to her ex-boyfriend’s house, breaking the windows of his summer house, damaging pots in his garden and shouting homophobic abuse at his son. The police were called and she resisted arrest, assaulting the officers by kicking them. She pleaded guilty to criminal damage, assault of an emergency worker, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress and common assault. She was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, an Exclusion Order, a 30-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a curfew. The curfew was the uplift for the homophobic abuse. She was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to each officer, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. (Humberside case)

10.    The defendant was under arrest for an unrelated matter and was subsequently taken to hospital due to having fainted in the patrol vehicle. Whilst in the hospital the defendant became agitated with the police officer and shouted homophobic abuse at him for a prolonged period of time. This was in front of other members of the public and the doctor. The abuse was captured on body worn camera. He pleaded guilty to using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a Band B fine of £80, uplifted from a Band A fine of £40. He was also ordered to pay £85 and a £21 victim surcharge. (Humberside case)  

11.    The police were called to a disturbance at a house. On arrival, the defendant resisted arrest and homophobically abused one of the officers. This was captured on body worn camera. He pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, a £150 fine and a 25-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, uplifted from 20 days. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge. (South Yorkshire case)

12.    The defendant repeatedly banged on the victim’s door, threatened to cause harm to the victim and shouted homophobic abuse towards him. The defendant 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. He was sentenced to 16 weeks' imprisonment, uplifted from 12 weeks, and was ordered to pay a £128 victim surcharge. The court also imposed a two-year Restraining Order. (South Yorkshire case)

13.    A shop assistant confronted the defendant, who had concealed items from the shop on his person. The defendant became aggressive and made threats to harm the shop assistant and made homophobic comments towards him. The defendant pleaded guilty to using 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 an extension to an existing Referral Order of a further six months, uplifted from three months. (West Yorkshire case)

Disability hate crime:

1.    The defendant approached a man in a wheelchair in the street and tipped him out of his wheelchair before shouting at him and throwing the wheelchair into the road. A short time later, in the same area, the defendant approached a man who was on crutches and started pushing and shoving him. He then grabbed the man by his jacket and held him up against a window. A short time after this, the defendant started pushing two other men and throwing punches at them. He pleaded guilty at the first hearing to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence and assault by beating. He was sentenced to a total of 16 weeks’ imprisonment for the assault, which was uplifted from 14 weeks. (North Yorkshire case)  

COVID-19-related hate crime cases:

1.    The defendant called the police claiming to have been assaulted. When police arrived, she was drunk and admitted making up the assault allegation and that she had, in fact, been the aggressor. Officers advised the defendant that they would take her home as she was in breach of Coronavirus regulations. Once inside the police car, she was abusive to officers and pushed the officer who was sat next to her and breathed in her face. The officer asked her to stop and move back due to Coronavirus, but the defendant moved closer and purposefully breathed in the officer’s face again, while racially abusing her. She then licked and attempted to bite the officer’s hand. She continued to cough in the direction of the officer in the custody suite. She pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault by beating. She was sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months, a six-month Alcohol Treatment Requirement, a ten-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 100 hours’ unpaid work, uplifted from a high-level Community Order. She was also ordered to pay £200 compensation, £85 costs and a £128 victim surcharge. (West Yorkshire case)

2.    The defendant was under the influence of either drink or drugs in a hospital. He was abusive towards nurses, so was asked to leave. As he was being escorted out by a nurse, he tried to headbutt her. He fell on the floor and as the nurse attempted to help him, he dug his nails into her arm, drawing blood, and spat in her face. Security were called and they restrained the defendant in a corridor. He then racially abused one of the security guards. The defendant was arrested and taken into custody where he spat at a police officer and caused damage to his cell by smearing faeces on the floor and urinating. He pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker, criminal damage and racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing. He was sentenced to a total of 36 weeks’ imprisonment which included eight weeks for the racially aggravated offence, uplifted from a Community Order. (West Yorkshire case)

3.    The defendant shouted abuse in a bank and shoved the victim as he was leaving. When the victim told him not to be touching other people due to social distancing, the defendant shouted racial abuse at him, which was witnessed by members of the public. He was found guilty after trial of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing and breach of a Restraining Order. He was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, uplifted from a high-level Community Order. He was also ordered to pay £620 costs and a £128 victim surcharge. (South Yorkshire case)

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