A man who repeatedly sprayed homophobic graffiti in an east London housing block has been handed an eight week custodial sentence.
The 23-year-old who graffitied the abuse over 70 time in a Shadwell estate pleaded guilty to the charges of criminal damage brought against him at Stratford magistrate Court on 3 February.
The case was brought to court after officers from EastendHomes, which manages the Shadwell estate, received reports of the offensive graffiti from residents.
Cllr Ohid Ahmed, Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “The actions of this man were despicable and condemnable. The messages of hate that he wrote caused considerable hurt and distress to the residents of [the estate], and it is right that he has now been punished.”
Paul Bloss Chief Executive of EastendHomes, said: “The successful prosecution in this case is an excellent example of how EastendHomes works in partnership with other agencies such as the police and the council to rid the estate of this unacceptable type of behaviour”
DC Simon Fields, the police investigating officer, said: “Many people were involved in the investigation of this offence, including the local Safer Neighbourhood Team. It is a measure of how seriously we take Hate Crime that the perpetrator was identified and convicted and the sentence sends a clear warning that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated”.
Jack Gilbert, Co-chair of Rainbow Hamlets, the LGBT Forum for Tower Hamlets,said: “We welcome this conviction. In particular we are pleased that the Court recognised that these were offences motivated by hatred of LGBT people and reflected that in its sentence. This sends a clear message: Homophobic crime in Tower Hamlets will not be tolerated.
“Offences like these cause considerable worry and distress to LGBT people and could well encourage others if not addressed swiftly. We are obviously concerned that the incidents took place so frequently and over so long a period. We will be inviting East End Homes, the police and the council to participate in a review of the case to ensure better practices are put in place for the future.”
The case was then passed to Tower Hamlets Council’s Community Safety Service, who gathered video footage and stills of the perpetrator carrying out his crimes.
The complete package of evidence was then passed to Shadwell police Safer Neighbourhoods Team, who identified Rahman and progressed prosecution with the Crown Prosecution Service.