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Man admits ripping niqab off woman and yelling 'you're in our country now you stupid f****** Muslim'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 6/02/2017 Hatty Collier
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A man has admitted ripping a niqab off a woman in a shopping centre as he yelled “you are in our country now, you stupid f------ Muslim”.

Peter Scotter, 55, pulled the niqab from the woman’s face as she stood waiting for her husband with her nine-year-old son outside Sunderland’s Bridges shopping centre.

The force he used almost threw her to the ground, and the niqab came away from her face, exposing her and causing her pain to the neck.

Scotter, of Beach Street, Roker, Sunderland, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday to admit racially aggravated assault by beating and a separate charge of racially aggravated harassment.

Both offences were based on Scotter's hostility towards a particular religious group, namely Islam, the court heard.

Tony Hawks, defending, said Scotter was diagnosed last week with a serious cancerous tumour under his tongue and was due to have an operation next Monday.

Judge Stephen Earl said he would sentence him later, once he has heard more details about the diagnosis.

The judge said: "This is a custodial band sentence, given his record and the nature of his actions."

A previous hearing at Sunderland Magistrates' Court heard how Scotter left his victim terrified when he attacked her in July this year.

Laura Lax, prosecuting, told the hearing that Scotter “purposefully" walked towards her and grabbed her niqab as she waited outside the shopping centre.

Miss Lax told the court the victim said afterwards: "This incident has left me scared to go out and I don't want to go into town again.

"I am disgusted my nine-year-old son had to witness this."

Another witness heard Scotter shout: "Here, take that f----- off, you are in our country now, you stupid f------ Muslim."

When a police officer arrived, Scotter was being spoken to by a security guard and tried to walk away.

Scotter was heard to say: "Our Britain, you live by our f------ rules" before coming out with more racist abuse.

He continued to make derogatory comments when he was being interviewed after his arrest, Miss Lax said.

He has 66 previous convictions for 157 offences, including actual bodily harm, breaching a Football Banning Order and racially aggravated criminal damage.

Scotter emerged from court to stand outside the doors smoking a cigarette. He hid his face behind a scarf and made rude gestures to photographers.

Scotter had been due to stand trial for the niqab offences next month. The judge told Scotter he will be sentenced in three weeks and granted him conditional bail.

© Provided by Independent Print Limited

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