Racially Aggravated Offences

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998, s28 defines this as follows:-

“An offence is racially or religiously aggravated …if –

(a) At the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, the offender demonstrates towards the victim of the offence hostility based on the victim’s membership (or presumed membership) of a racial or religious group; or
(b) The offence is motivated (wholly or partly) by hostility towards members of a racial or religious group based on their membership of that group.

It is more usual for offences to be brought under section (a) above when a comment said in the heat of the moment and is often not committed by people who perceive themselves to be “racist”.

The definition is wide-ranging, for example we have provided representation to an elderly lady, who in the heat of an argument with her neighbour over their respective properties, said “An Englishman’s home is his castle”. Her neighbour was not English and consequently she was arrested and prosecuted for a racially aggravated offence.

Have you been invited to attend a police station? Some of the most important decisions made in relation to a case are made at the police station. If Morton’s solicitors are involved at an early stage of an investigation, we are often able to affect the outcome.

You are not obliged to say anything to the police and we advise all clients to maintain their right to silence until they speak with us.

A case can proceed solely on admissions made to the police without the need for witnesses to ever attend court.

You are entitled to have a solicitor present free of charge at any police interview. This is true for what may seem to be the most trivial offences, e.g. a minor name-calling. You should never be interviewed without legal representation.

If you are convicted of a racially aggravated offence, the penalties are more than for the simple offence. A prison sentence is much more likely.

Mortons Solicitors can advise you and provide expert representation. Call us now for immediate advice on 0161 477 1121

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