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Jail sentence for hate crime involving homophobic abuse (14 September 2015)

Date: 14/09/2015
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Jail sentence for hate crime involving homophobic abuse

Manchester Magistrates’ Court has sentence a 29-year-old man to 13 weeks in jail, after he launched a tirade of homophobic abuse at two men on a tram in Manchester city centre.

The court heard that Ian Oldham verbally abused the two men by singing songs from the musical “Wicked” – and his actions attracted the attention of another group of men, which resulted in one of the victims being attacked in Manchester City Centre.

The incidents took place on 31 October, 2014.

The prosecution told the court:

“The two victims were subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse and threats of violence, both during and after a tram journey into Manchester city centre – which was purely motivated by homophobic prejudice.

“The men were in good spirits and looking forward to a night out in Manchester, which was soon spoiled by a sequence of events which has greatly affected them since.

“The actions of Oldham drew the attention of another group of unidentified men, which in turn led to one of the victims being violently attacked in the street.

“Targeting someone because of their sexual orientation is totally unacceptable.

“The CPS and police are dedicated to tackling hate crime – and we will continue to work closely together to bring those who commit such offences to justice for their disgraceful actions.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) asked for an uplift in Oldham’s sentence under Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act, to reflect the homophobic aspect of the crime.

As a result, the District Judge added a 10% increase to the sentence. Oldham was sentenced to 13 weeks’ imprisonment – and was also sentenced at the hearing to 13 weeks’ imprisonment for a domestic violence assault.

Oldham will therefore serve six months in jail – he was also ordered to pay £520 in costs and an £80 Victim Surcharge.

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