Sunderland man who abused Muslim woman has sentencing delayed

Peter Scotter is due to be sentenced today.
Peter Scotter is due to be sentenced today.

A man who pulled a niqab off a Muslim woman in a shopping centre and yelled racial abuse has again had his sentencing delayed.

Peter Scotter, 55, of Beach Street, Roker, Sunderland, was due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court today after he admitted racially aggravated assault by beating and a separate charge of racially aggravated harassment at a previous hearing.

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

Last week, Scotter was due to undergo surgery after he was diagnosed with a serious cancerous tumour under his tongue.

Judge Stephen Earl adjourned sentence to allow cancer specialists to assess his condition.

Today, sentencing was again adjourned, as Scotter is still undergoing treatment.

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 pain to her 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.

Ms 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."

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 ******* rules" before coming out with more racist abuse.

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

He has 66 previous convictions for 157 offences, including actual bodily harm, breaching a football banning order and racially aggravated criminal damage.