A Muslim woman, who was subjected to a sickening attack which saw the niqab deliberately torn from her head, has pleaded that her abuser is spared prison.
Peter Scotter, of Sunderland, admitted racially aggravated assault by beating and a separate charge of racially aggravated harassment when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court in February.
The 55-year-old had attacked his victim in a shopping centre, yelling “you are in our country now, you stupid fucking Muslim.”
Both offences were based on Scotter’s hostility towards a particular religious group, mainly Islam, the court heard.
Sentencing has been adjourned while Scotter is treated for a serious cancerous tumour under his tongue.
His victim, who asked not to be named, told The Mirror: “I did not realise the man had cancer. I don’t want him to go to prison. I would like the judge to bear that in mind when he does sentence him.
“He did a bad thing in anger… but I don’t seek any kind of revenge. I don’t want him to suffer.
“Perhaps that is something everyone who shows anger and resentment towards Muslim people could learn to do. Maybe everyone could stop the hatred and chill.”
A previous hearing at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard how Scotter left his victim “terrified” when he attacked her in July.
Laura Lax, prosecuting, told the hearing the woman was waiting with her nine-year-old son for her husband outside a store in Sunderland’s Bridges shopping centre when a man “purposefully” walked towards her and grabbed her niqab.
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.
She remembered being scared but was so shocked she could not remember what was said, magistrates were told.
The niqab was damaged, but she has since repaired it herself.
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 fucking thing off, you are in our country now, you stupid fucking Muslim.”
When a police officer arrived, Scotter was being spoken to by a security guard and the defendant tried to walk away.
Scotter was heard to say: “Our Britain, you live by our fucking rules” before coming out with more racist abuse.
He continued to make derogatory comments when he was being interviewed after his arrest, Lax said.
When he attended previous hearings about the niqab offence, Scotter made a middle finger gesture to photographers outside court.
He has 66 previous convictions for 157 offences, including actual bodily harm, breaching a Football Banning Order and racially aggravated criminal damage.
Scotter is on conditional bail until his next hearing, the date of which is dependent on his condition.