The statements below would effectively add to the length of sentencing for an existing category of crime (e.g. assault, murder, burglary etc).
My question is, is there a need?
Why would for example an assault on a gay person need to carry a longer sentence than an assault on a straight person?
Why should the murder of a black teenager carry a longer sentence than the murder of a white pensioner?
Surely we should be sentencing based on the crime? an assault is an assault right? the outcome is the same - someone ends up getting beat up, so why would the victim's race/orientation/disability be a factor?
**The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 makes hateful behaviour towards a victim based on the victim’s membership (or presumed membership) in a racial group or a religious group an aggravation in sentencing for specified crimes**
**The Criminal Justice Act 2003 requires a court to consider whether a crime which is not specified by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 is racially or religiously aggravated. The Act requires a court also to consider whether the following circumstances were pertinent to the crime:
(a) that, at the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, the offender demonstrated towards the victim of the offence hostility based on—
(i) the sexual orientation (or presumed sexual orientation) of the victim, or
(ii) a disability (or presumed disability) of the victim, or
(b) that the offence is motivated (wholly or partly)—
(i) by hostility towards persons who are of a particular sexual orientation, or
(ii) by hostility towards persons who have a disability or a particular disability**