It was inevitable that when the judge Lord Bracadale was tasked with reviewing hate crime legislation that he would come back with recommendations for further extensions of the rules to include the sex and age of the victim. This will lead us further away from the noble ideal of equality before the law.
The notion of ‘hate crime’ comes out of the Frankfurt Marxist school of social policy which rather than treating people as individuals divides society in to various oppressed and oppressor groups and treats us differently accordingly to which groups we are members of.
Judges have always had discretion in sentencing, and thus been able to punish more severely the bully who targets particularly vulnerable individuals, thus there has never been a need for statutory aggravation according to group membership.
If you want to see where the identity politics, of which hate crime laws are a part, leads society, you only have to look at London. There fear of racial discrimination led to a scaling back of stop and search, and thus an explosion of knife, gun and acid crime. Ironically, the main victims of this deluge of extra crime are the ethnic minorities, who had previously experienced more stops and searches.
We should bin all ‘hate crime’ legislation and in future treat everyone as equal before the criminal law.