Portsmouth man jailed for racist attack that saw him crash a van into his victim’s workplace

A MAN from Baffins has been sent to prison after he pleaded guilty to a racist attack, which saw him crash a van into his victim’s workplace.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 9:05 pm

At Portsmouth Crown Court on Tuesday, Benjamin Jay Damen, 26, of Station Road, Baffins, was sentenced to one and a half years in prison after a racist attack that took place in the city last month.

The court heard how on June 16, shortly after 5pm, a dispute between Damen and a man in his 30s resulted in Damen directing threats and racial abuse towards the victim.

He then attended the victim’s place of work and drove a van into the building, causing an internal wall to collapse.

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Benjamin Jay Damen, 26, of Station Road, Baffins, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated criminal damage and racially aggravated threatening words/behaviour.

Damen then proceeded to stab at a door with a knife and throw a tyre at the door, smashing a window.

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The 26-year-old has pleaded guilty to racially aggravated criminal damage and racially aggravated threatening words/behaviour, as well as pleading guilty to dangerous driving, possession of a bladed article in a public place, and two counts of sending communications of an offensive nature.

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.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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