Portsmouth man sentenced to 18 months in prison for racially aggravated offences
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A Portsmouth man has been sentenced to a year and a half in prison for racially aggravated offences which took place in the city last month.
Benjamin Jay Damen, 26, of Station Road, Baffins, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated criminal damage and racially aggravated threatening words/behaviour.
He also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, possession of a bladed article in a public place and two counts of sending communications of an offensive nature.
He was sentenced today (Tuesday 27 July) at Portsmouth Crown Court.
The court heard how on Wednesday 16 June 2021, shortly after 5pm, a dispute between Damen and the victim resulted in Damen directing threats and racial abuse towards the victim, a man in his 30s.
He then attended the victim’s place of work and drove a van into the building, causing an internal wall to collapse. He proceeded to stab at a door with a knife and throw a tyre at the door, smashing a window.
Following the sentencing, DC James Dickety from Hampshire Constabulary’s Criminal Investigation Department, said: “We are pleased at the sentence handed down to Benjamin Jay Damen today, which reflects the serious nature of this unacceptable racial attack.
“No-one should be subjected to such abuse and it will not be tolerated. Thankfully, no-one was hurt but this could have had much more serious consequences.
“This was understandably an extremely traumatic ordeal for the victim and we hope that this sentence goes someway to giving him closure and reassures him, and our communities in Portsmouth, that justice has been served.
“We encourage anyone who suffers hate crime, or receives a serious threat against them to report it to the police, either by calling 101 or online through the True Vision website at www.report-it.org.uk. Always call 999 in an emergency.”