Lancashire man convicted of "appalling" online abuse against Chinese doctor
A 32-year-old man has been convicted of hate crime after he engaged in "appalling" online abuse that left a Chinese doctor "frightened for her life".
Philip Kenway, 32, posted "horrifying messages" directed at the medic after she posted images on a local Facebook group of children who had assaulted her as she left work in October last year.
Kenway, of Mount Avenue, Lancaster, was found guilty of an offence of "send letter communication/article conveying indecent/offensive message" when he appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court last month.
Lancashire Police described the harassment directed at the Chinese doctor as "absolutely disgusting", and said the abuse had left her "extremely distressed and frightened for her safety".
Kenway has been given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to undergo a course of rehabilitation.
An investigation into the assault on the doctor by the group of children is ongoing.
Following the conviction, Lancashire Police said it remains committed to a "zero-tolerance" approach to hate crime.
Detective Constable Mark Nelson, of Lancaster CID, has welcomed the conviction, saying "everyone in our county should be allowed to live their lives free from harassment and the fear of hate crime".
He said: "The abuse directed at the victim in this case was absolutely disgusting and understandably left her extremely distressed and frightened for her safety.
"As if being physically attacked and then racially abused wasn’t enough, this was directed towards an NHS employee in the middle of a pandemic.
"Everyone in our county should be allowed to live their lives free from harassment and the fear of hate crime and Lancashire Constabulary will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to offences like this.
"Hate crime causes great distress to its victims and we are committed to investigating all crimes and incidents motivated by hate, supporting victims and bringing offenders to justice."
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw added: "This result sends the clear message that we won't stand for hate here in Lancashire.
"Attacking someone physically or verbally simply because of who they are is unacceptable and it is something we take very seriously.
"Hate crime can have a long term impact on those affected and it can be difficult to move forward after being targeted.
"Specialist support is available through Lancashire Victim Services and I would urge anyone affected to contact the service for help and support."
If you have witnessed or been a victim of hate crime you can make a report by:
- Or by calling Lancashire Police on 101, or dialling 999 in an emergency