Under hate crime legislation the courts must pass increased sentences where prosecutors evidence that offences either demonstrate or have been motivated by hostility towards a person’s race, religion, disability, transgender identity or sexuality. Below are examples of hate crime cases recently prosecuted by CPS North East, each of which resulted in a conviction and an uplifted sentence.
The Defendant was convicted of a series of shop thefts and of assaulting a member of shop staff whilst using homophobic insults. She was sentenced to a total of 38 weeks’ imprisonment which was suspended for twelve months and the court announced the length of imprisonment for the assault had been uplifted by 60% to reflect the homophobic aggravation.
The Defendants were convicted of breaching a community protection notice by acting in a disorderly manner, causing a nuisance to residents and retailers then being homophobically abusive and threatening when challenged. They were sentenced to twelve months’ conditional discharge and ordered to pay £200 compensation. The court announced the sentence had been uplifted by 50% to reflect the homophobic nature of the offending.
The Defendant was convicted of racially aggravated assault by beating following a road rage incident where he assaulted and racially abused another driver. He was sentenced by Magistrates to eight weeks’ imprisonment suspended for twelve months with rehabilitation activities. The court announced they had uplifted this sentence from a community order to custody to reflect the racial aggravation.
The Defendant was convicted of sending grossly offensive communications via Facebook postings racially insulting takeaway employees. He was sentenced to 18 months’ Community Order and ordered to do unpaid work and pay compensation to the employees. The Judge announced that the sentence had been uplifted from a fine to reflect the racial aggravation.
The Defendant was convicted of criminal damage and causing racially aggravated intentional alarm and distress after she threw and damaged office equipment at West Park Hospital and racially abused staff. She was ordered to pay £250 compensation to the hospital and a fine of £120 which had been increased by the court to reflect the racially aggravated nature of the offending.
The Defendant, a youth, was convicted of causing intentional harassment/alarm/distress when he used insulting and derogatory transphobic language towards security staff. He was sentenced to a four-month referral order and a restraining order of twelve months. The court announced the sentence had been uplifted to reflect the transphobic nature of the offending.
The Defendant was convicted at the Crown Court of sending malicious communications after he sent a series of abusive text messages some of which were racially insulting. He was sentenced to 24 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for twelve months and the court announced it had uplifted the sentence to reflect the racial aggravation.
The Defendant was convicted of racially aggravated threatening behaviour towards a door supervisor for using a tirade of racial abuse whilst throwing punches towards him. He was sentenced to a high-level community order for 18 months with rehabilitation activities and the thinking skills programme, fined £400 and ordered to pay compensation of £100. The court announced both the fine and the order had been increased due to the racist behaviour.