How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Accused of.. used threatening, abusive or insulting words

Customer Question

Accused of..

'used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alrm or distress, thereby, and the offence was racially aggravated within the terms of section 28 of the crime and disorder act 1998 contrary to section 31 (1)(c) and (5) of the crime and disorder act 1998'

My husband was a pedestrian and a vehicle almost hit him, my husband shouted at the driver (of whom he could not see as vehicle had tinted glass) and used expletives. Community police were nearby and heard and came to check out what was happening. The driver then stopped and claimed my husband was racially abusive. The police took details and everyone went on their way. A week or so later the police contact my husband to make a statement and the driver is now stating the abuse was racially aggravated. My husband and 2 witneses made statements claiming this not to be true, however, he now has a court summons saying he has committed the offence above. I need some advice as to will he need representing in court ? what will the possible outcome be ? many thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.
In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Has he got any previous convictions?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I believe he has driving offence but no other criminal offences

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Does your husband deny the allegation?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He admits to using expletives and shouting but he denies any racial remarks and the two witnesses have said the same in their statements

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Are they civilian witnesses?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes they are one is his father the other is a work colleague of his
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Are you asking if he will be convicted?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes Iam wanting to know if he will/could be convicted on the word of one man while witnesses state something else. And does he plead not guilty to this offence as it wasn't racially motivated. Is the court then adjourned to a later date so witnesses can be brought in? Is it a fine or a custodial sentence? we have no idea at all what to expect.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Can I just be clear about this?

The evidence of racial abuse comes from the driver not the community officers?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes just the driver no body witnessed racial abuse other than the driver making the accusation
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Well thats certainly better than it could be. The truth is that where a community support officer or police officer makes an allegation against a lay person at the magistrates court, the lay person doesn't have much of a chance.

If this just a civilian witness then he might be disbelieved on this point. Certainly one persons evidence can be sufficient to convict a person but it depends on their credibility. In this instance, overall, if there are witnesses in your favour then unless they are not credible you would probably win even at the magistrates court.

You plead not guilty at court.

You can offer a plea to public order alone but the crown won't accept it. They will never negotiate over racially aggravated offences. Its one of those politically driven offences I'm afraid.

Can I clarify anything for you?