Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Mark Walters (University of Sussex Law School) has posted Why the Rochdale Gang Should Have Been Sentenced as 'Hate Crime' Offenders (Criminal Law Review (2). pp. 131-144, 2013) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article examines the case of the Rochdale Gang (a group of Asian Muslim men recently convicted of a number of sexual offences against young white girls) by analysing whether the Gang’s offences could and should have been prosecuted as “hate crimes.” The article argues that sufficient scope exists under s.28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and s.145 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 for the Gang’s actions to be pursued by the authorities, not only as sexual offences, but as offences aggravated by racial and religious “hostility”. The article posits that the authorities’ denial that the Gang’s actions were partly motivated by prejudice was likely to be the result of a narrowly construed conception of hate crime. In particular, it is argued that the authorities failed to acknowledge the symbiotic relationship that existed between the perceived vulnerability of the victims and the intersecting hostilities that such vulnerabilities gave rise to. The article concludes that the police and CPS should have gathered evidence of “hostility” and adduced this for consideration by the court at sentencing.