Woman sentenced after racist and homophobic rants in centre of Brighton

Posted On 16 Apr 2019 at 1:06 pm

A woman has been given a suspended prison sentence after reeling off racist and homophobic abuse as security staff and police detained her for shoplifting.

Prianna Cheema, a 24-year-old personal assistant, was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, by magistrates in Brighton.

She was brought before the bench after security staff at the Churchill Square shopping centre called Sussex Police for help after Cheema “racially abused shop staff in Debenhams” in February.

The force said: “She went into Boots and then returned to Churchill Square where she abused a security officer at the shopping centre and spat at him.

“She was arrested by British Transport Police officers at Brighton railway station.

“When searched in custody she was found in possession of a large amount of make up from Smashbox, a concession within Boots.”

Cheema, of Faygate Road, Eastbourne, was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour with the intention of causing Jasmine Thorpe harassment, alarm or distress.

The magistrates said: “The court finds that this offence was racially aggravated.”

They said that the offence was so serious that it justified a jail sentence and the reason, they added, was “because it was a prolonged incident, involving homophobic and racial language, when offender was subject to two community orders”.

They ordered Cheema to pay £30 compensation to Ms Thorpe, who works for the Benefit Cosmetics concession.

And they told her to go on a six-month treatment programme for her drink problem.

Cheema pleaded guilty to attacking security guard Kyle Irvin. She was given a four-week suspended sentence to run consecutively with the six-week sentence and ordered to pay him £30 compensation.

She was also given a six-week suspended sentence to run consecutively for “assault by beating of an emergency worker” for attacking PC Thuillier from the British Transport Police, making 16 weeks in total.

Cheema went into another rant as she was arrested at Brighton railway station and the bench said: “The court finds that this offence was aggravated due to hostility based on the sexual orientation (or presumed sexual orientation) of the victim.”

She was order to pay £140 compensation to PC Thuillier.

She admitted obstructing or resisting two other BTP officers as they tried to arrest her – PC Toni and PC Hedgecock. For this, she was given a one-week suspended sentence to run concurrently.

Again, the court found that the offence was “aggravated by the fact that it was homophobic”.

And Cheema pleaded guilty to stealing various items of make-up from Boots with a total value of £169. The court passed no separate penalty for the theft.

But she was told to pay prosecution costs of £50 on top of payments totalling £200 in compensation, making £250 in all.

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