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Our client a woman was cleared and found Not Guilty of Racially Aggravated Common Assault Road Rage at Wood Green Crown Court in November 2023.

She was charged by the police with racially aggravated assault by beating contrary to section 29(1)(c) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Assault is committed by inflicting, or making one fear the infliction, of violence, and is an offence under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 section 226(a) created several specified offences involving wounding or assault and racial aggravation.  

To prove this offence, the onus is on the prosecution to demonstrate that at the time of committing the assault by beating, and immediately before or after the assault, the defendant demonstrates towards the victim hostility based on his membership or presumed membership of a particular racial group. The sentencing guidelines determine that the racially aggravated element of this type of assault renders the offence as triable either way with a maximum custody sentence of two years for the highest culpability and harm imposed.

These are very serious offences and sentencing uplifts apply if convicted.

Facts -

In this instance, the defendant was involved in a traffic dispute. She got out of her car to ask the car opposite to reverse and was then accused of opening the other driver’s door, pouring a fizzy drink over him and making racial comments. A witness came forward but we were able to get the statement discredited by submitting that this witness was a friend of the complainant rather than a witness and therefore the account was not accurate. Our defence put forward that the client denied the allegations in their entirety and that there was no evidence of any assault or racial conduct. The defence was able to disprove the accusation that any harm had been caused and that any racial intent was present. We were able to convince the jury that our client was innocent and subsequently a not-guilty verdict was returned.

We prepared the case thoroughly and instructed a specialist barrister. 



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