A Hove man has received a suspended prison sentence after admitting to attacking a transgender woman in Brighton, police say.
Sussex Police say 41-year-old Philip Poole, of Shirley Street, Hove pleaded guilty to common assault and intentional harassment, alarm and distress when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, April 26.
Poole, a cleaner, admitted to verbally abusing a 25-year-old transgender woman, before punching her and pulling her hair following an incident in St. James’s Street, Brighton at 12.30am on Saturday, February 11, police say. Poole also admitted verbally abusing a police officer who responded to a call from a member of the public.
He was given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement of up to 25 days, as well as having to pay costs of £45 and a Victim Surcharge of £115. He was fined £40 for the offence against the police officer, police say.
Sussex Police hate crime sergeant, Peter Allan said: "I am pleased the court have convicted the defendant in this case. No-one should be targeted in this way because of who they are.
“This sentence sends out a clear signal that we will take a robust approach to those who target individuals based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. I hope this case will encourage other victims of hate to report such behaviour to the police.
“What was really pleasing to me in relation to this case, is that four members of the public came to the assistance of the victim, one of who called the police and waited with the victim until they arrived. You do not have to become physically involved to stand up to hate; offering a supportive word and calling the police is more than most people would do.
“I wrote a letter of thanks to the member of the public, acknowledging her actions in supporting a fellow human being in their time of need.
"Hate crime can be reported to us by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency and online https://www.sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/."