Stephen Rowley jailed for racist attack in city centre

A Sheffield man who racially abused a schoolgirl who was waiting for the bus has been jailed for six months.

Stephen Rowley, 41, approached the 12-year-old girl on Arundel Gate in January and launched a verbal attack about her ethnicity and skin colour.

PC Steve Bauer, investigating, said: “This was an unprovoked, vile attack on a child, who was simply on her way to school. Rowley made some very offensive comments, whilst laughing and telling the girl, ‘I can say what I want in my country’.

“The victim was left in tears but managed to get onto her bus where thankfully several members of the public noticed her in distress and helped her call the police.

“Fortunately, the whole incident was captured on CCTV and Rowley was quickly identified by the Sheffield City Centre Neighbourhood Team.”

Rowley was also sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court for a second incident, in which he threatened to stab a woman as he passed her on Eyre Lane in the city centre.

PC Libby Bettney, the investigating officer, said: “The victim, a woman in her 20s, has been left incredibly shaken by these threats, she has changed her route to and from work and has described feeling frightened by the encounter. This is unacceptable in our city, especially when people who are just going about their daily lives are the victims.”

The victim provided a description of the suspect and this was circulated among officers. Rowley was again identified by officers from the city centre team.

Yesterday Rowley, of Brightmore Drive, was sentenced to six months in prison for a racially aggravated public order offence, threatening behaviour and two breaches of a Criminal Behaviour Order.

PC Bettney added: “It is right that Rowley has received a custodial sentence. These incidents have had a significant impact on the victims, who did not deserve to be threatened and abused in this way. I hope this reassures the public that we are taking action when it comes to incidents of this nature.”


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