In The South

‘Hate crime’ perpetrators in Sussex receive tougher prison sentences

Besi Besemar August 24, 2017

Defendants in Sussex are being handed stiffer sentences because they have committed a hate crime motivated by prejudice.

A total of 47 criminal sentences were ‘uplifted’ in Sussex between January and March this year.

Crimes which are eligible for an ‘uplifted’ sentence are any that are motivated ‘wholly or partly’ by hostility based on perceived religion, race, sexual orientation or disability.

The increased sentences ranged from extended prison terms to longer community punishments, depending on the crime.

Examples in Sussex included:

♦  A man who was given a 12 week suspended jail term, instead of eight weeks, after religiously abusing a man at his home in Crawley and threatening him.

♦  A man whose community order was upgraded from low to medium level after he racially abused a security guard in a shop in Hove.

♦  A man who was fined £200, instead of £120, after making homophobic comments to a worker in a fast food restaurant in Seaford.

♦  A man who was jailed for 16 weeks, instead of 12 weeks, after punching a man and shouting homophobic abuse at a pub in Newhaven.

Jaswant Narwal
Jaswant Narwal

Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “These longer sentences are a powerful way of sending the message that hate crime is viewed very seriously in the eyes of the law. I would encourage all victims to report hate crimes as we can and do make every effort to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable and these examples highlight ways in which this happens in Sussex every day.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has been highlighting hate crime and associated issues this week through their #hatecrimematters campaign. You can find further information and a range of materials for use on social media and online on the CPS website.

More details of the CPS South East’s work to tackle all forms of hate crime are available on their website, which is updated monthly with the latest successful hate crime convictions.

CPS South East works with local community groups and their Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel is made up of community representatives and members of criminal justice agencies, who work together to improve the prosecution process and their service.

They are currently looking for members of the public to join the panel, particularly those with a background in representing people affected by issues related to hate crime – disability, racial, religious, homophobic, transphobic and biphobic.

If you want to, email: