Methinks the ladye doth protest too much. ‘Roid rage?
I know he has played at both Celtic and Hibs in the last few years, so his career is obviously on the way down. Serves him right, the homophobic idiot.
The article mentions him being charged with breach of the peace and assault. I wonder why he wasn’t charged under the hate crime legislation brought in by the Scottish Parliament a year or two ago. Surely this is exactly the type of incident it was meant for?
I may be wrong, but when I have discussed issues of hate crime with Scottish Police I have formed the understanding that under Scots law in relation to hate crimes connected to homophobia whilst the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009 is applicable that this is considered by the court not as a separate charge but as a conduct and aggravating factor to the entire incident. The charges remain the”standard” criminal matters eg breach of the peace, assault, damage etc.
Whereas in the case of racial or religious hate crimes there are specific hate crimes in Scots law which could be charged eg section 96 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (racial) and section 74 Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 (religious).
So, whilst the court can consider the homophobia as an aggravating feature of the crime (and the aggravating feature in itself requires no corroboration) – there is no specific homophobic crime to charge and charges have to rely on the substantive standard offence.
Stu is partly correct. The homophobia part of a hate crime charge is an aggravation – that is, it is an element added to the charge for any other crime (assault, breach of the peace, vandalism, etc), specifying that the motive was at least in part, homophobia. If proven, it must be taken into account in sentencing.
Where Stu is not quite right is that the section 96 racial aggravation and section 74 religious aggravation work exactly the same.
However, there are some stand alone hate crimes, where the hate element is bundled in to the crime. Firsly, there is offensive behaviour at football, which includes racist, religious, homophobic, transphobic and disability hate.
For race only, there is racially aggravated behaviour – section 50A of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 – which is in effect a racially aggravated breach of the peace. And for race and religion only, there are offences of stirring up hatred. The latter in particular, in the Equality Network’s view, should be extended to homphobic, transphobic and disabilty hatred.
Thanks Equality Network.
I always struggle with Scots law, but try to keep up to date with it.
I agree hate crimes in Scotland should be extended to homophobic, transphobic and disablility offences.
What I meat about the section 74 and section 96 offences was that I understood (maybe wrongly!) that they can be charged in their own right, but homophobic hate crimes would require an aggravating feature to be added to the charge of a crime which can have hate as a motivation or not, as the incident requires.
Sections 96 and 74 can’t be charged separately – they are aggravations just like the homophobic, transphobic and disability ones – identical in fact apart from the ground of prejudice. The stirring up hatred offence is the only one where there is disparity – it has covered race for years, and since March covers religion, but not the other grounds. But to put that in perspective, the number of prosecutions for stirring up racial hatred per year is around 4, compared to 4000-5000 racially aggravated offences. So hate crime law in Scotland is fully inclusive of all five grounds, for 999 out of 1000 cases. For the 1000th case, we still need to extend the stirring up hatred offence.
Thanks Stu & Equality Network – I think I understand! So his homophobic outburst could still be taken into account when it goes to trial in October?
Thanks for the clarification, Equality Network.
BennieM, Homophobic intent can definitely be taken into account in the prosecution of an offence where there is evidence.