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Epping: Man given two year suspended sentence for racially abusing cyclists

The group were targeted in Bower Hill in January (credit: Google Maps)

A man’s been given a two year suspended sentence for multiple offences including racial abuse in Epping.

Harry Downer, 20, racially abused and injured four cyclists in Bower Hill on Sunday, 8 January.

Essex Police initially received reports that a group were cycling when a car drove dangerously out of a nearby lane. The driver had then stopped the vehicle in front of the group and racially abused the cyclists before reversing at the group.

This caused injuries to the victims and damage to their bikes.

The driver then left the scene before returning a few minutes later and racially abusing them again.

Downer was charged with four counts of racially aggravated public order offences, two counts of racially aggravated common assault, two counts of racially aggravated beating, two counts of racially aggravated criminal damage, one count of dangerous driving and one count of using a fraudulent number plate.

In separate incidents, he also stole motor vehicles from across Hertfordshire and Essex between December 2021 and January this year.

Downer, who’s now 21-years-old, has been sentenced to 24 months in prison, suspended for 24 months. He has also been given a 30-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, must complete 300 hours of unpaid work and must wear an electronic tag to ensure he abides by a curfew for six months.

He has also been suspended from driving for 20 months and must complete an extended test when reapplying for a driving licence. He was also fined £80 for using false licence plates.

Investigating officers, Police Constable Olivia Clark and Elliot Harris, said: “We are glad to see the courts use the full breadth of their powers when sentencing Downer.

“It is completely and utterly unacceptable for anyone to be subject to verbal and physical racial abuse as was the case in Epping. We simply will not tolerate people being targeted in this way.

“All the victims and officers in this case have seen justice served with this sentencing. This has been a distressing investigation and we’d like to thank all our colleagues for the time and energy they put into this.”


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