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Stories

Don't be afraid, speak up - silence hides hate

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A collection of accounts and stories about hate crime and its impact

Here are some stories from people who have witnessed or been a victim of hate incidents and crimes.

Speaking out: Trish's Story

Trish Adudu from BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire shares her experience of being a victim of racist abuse.

Successful Prosecutions: Disability bullying and assault 

The victim had been involved in a car accident in 1994 which impairs her ability to respond quickly. She also has short-term memory loss. The defendant, her husband, systematically belittled her for her disability. He assaulted her over a sustained period. The victim gave evidence by way of interview and a live link to prevent her having to return to the area.

A Victim Personal Statement was read to the court. The prosecutor said that the offending 11 demonstrated a progressive pattern of belittling, undermining and bullying behaviour based wholly or partially on the victim's disability. The defendant was given a 15 months custodial sentence suspended for 2 years. This would have been 12 months, but for the aggravating feature of disability hostility. A restraining order of 4 years was also granted.

Successful Prosecutions: Homophobic aggravation

A gay couple, and the son of one of the men, were walking through the town centre when they encountered the defendant. One of the men had testified in support of his son in a trial involving the defendant’s son. The defendant’s language became abusive and homophobic. She was very aggressive and made threats towards both men as well as the child. She also threatened to report the complainants to the police falsely alleging he molested her son. The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to a six month community order, which would have been a fine had it not been for the homophobic aggravation.

Successful Prosecutions: Harassment

The complainant had been subjected to gratuitous transphobic abuse over the course of several weeks. After the last of these incidents, the defendant was  identified as the offender, arrested and formally interviewed.

Police referred the case to the CPS for a charging decision. The defendant pleaded guilty to harassment without violence, and was sentenced to a term of 3 months imprisonment suspended for 9 months.

The terms included a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement for 6 months and a requirement to undergo supervision by the Probation Service for 9 months. The court also made a restraining order for a period of 12 months, prohibiting the defendant from contacting the complainant directly or indirectly.

Successful Prosecutions: Racial violence

The defendant went into a shop with his girlfriend where he was racially abusive to the shopkeeper and struck him with his fist in the chest. CCTV was available but the video had been corrupted. The defendant denied assault and at first accused the shopkeeper of assaulting him.

The defendant’s partner was not prepared to offer evidence against him. Charges of racially aggravated common assault were brought.

At trial the defendant was found guilty and sentenced to six months imprisonment, increased by two months for the racial hostility. In addition, in order to provide some future protection to the complainant, a restraining order was applied for and granted by the court, restricting contact with the complainant and entry to his shop.

Don't be afraid, speak up - silence hides hate

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