A man accused of pulling a veil from a Muslim woman’s face in a racist attack will face a trial by jury.
Peter Scotter is claimed to have targeted the woman in the Bridges on July 3.
The 55-year-old is alleged to have approached the Muslim woman in the busy complex, where he reached out and grabbed her niqab veil, pulled it off and
threw it on the ground, exposing her face to the public.
At Newcastle Crown Court Scotter pleaded not guilty to religiously aggravated assault by beating in relation to the woman.
He also denied a charge of religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
Scotter, of Beach Street, Roker, Sunderland, will be tried on March 13 next year.
The case is expected to last up to two days.
Judge Paul Sloan QC granted Scotter conditional bail in the meantime.
The bail conditions mean Scotter must live at his home address, must notcontact prosecution witnesses and must stay out of the Bridges shopping
The alleged assault happened at a time when reports of racial abuse were on the rise following Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Sunderland voted to leave the EU by 61% on June 23 with 82,394 voting for Leave and 51,930 for Remain.