UK man gets 15 months jail term for ripping off Muslim woman's veil, abusing her

Peter Scotter, 56, of Sunderland, shouted You are in our country now' when he attacked his victim, who was with her young son.

London: A 56-year-old man has been jailed for over a year for ripping off a Muslim woman's niqab or the full-face veil during an expletive-ridden racist assault at a shopping centre in the UK following the divisive Brexit vote.

Peter Scotter, 56, of Sunderland, shouted "You are in our country now" when he attacked his victim, who was with her young son, at a Sunderland shopping centre last July.

Scotter had admitted racially aggravated assault by beating and racially aggravated harassment. He was handed down a 15-month jail term at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.

The court heard that the Brexit vote had sparked the assault by Scotter on the terrified mother, The Mirror reported.

During the assault, Scotter was heard screaming, "You are in our country now, you stupid (expletive) Muslim."

The force he used to pull off the garment in the city's Bridges Shopping Centre caused her to fall to the floor.

Yet he continued to shout abuse, including, "I'am taking my (expletive) country back" and "it's our Britain, stick by our rules."

The victim had said she did not want him to go to jail when she learned that he was undergoing checks on cancer in his mouth.

Tony Hawks, defending, told Newcastle Crown Court certain politicians and sections of the press had been "playing the race card" in the weeks before the incident. He said there was "no doubt that what he did was an ignorant and despicable piece of behaviour".

But he described his client as an "ignorant and ill- educated man" who "knows nothing whatsoever about Islam".

"He has to take responsibility for his own actions, but is it simply a coincidence that after listening to weeks of that rhetoric the defendant was not affected?" Hawks said.

Neil Pallister, prosecuting, said Scotter was escorted out of the centre by a security guard after the assault last June, but refused to listen to police, and launched yet more abuse.

The court heard he had 70 previous convictions, including throwing bricks with racist stickers on them at a house with refugees inside.

Jailing Scotter for 15 months, Judge Stephen Earl said he had used "appalling language" in a public place.

"Comments such as these cannot be acceptable in a civilised society," Earl said.

He also ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of 140 pounds.

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