'˜Incredible act of tolerance' - Echo readers hail stance of race-hate attack victim
Readers have praised the Muslim victim of race attacker Peter Scotter after she said she does not want him to go to prison.
In an amazing show of forgiveness towards Scotter, 55, the Sunderland mum-of-four said she wants him to go free after hearing he was suffering from a cancerous tumour in his mouth.
The 39-year-old said she did not want him to suffer and to be free to lead a more peaceful and better life.
She also pleaded with post-Brexit Britain to “stop the hatred and chill,” becoming a beacon of tolerance to the rest of the world.
The mum was speaking ahead of a sentencing hearing for Scotter, which could have seen him sent to prison, however the case was adjourned at Newcastle Crown Court until the beginning of May due to his ill health.
The mum, who came to Wearside from Bangladesh 30 years ago, said: “I did not realise that the man had cancer, I don’t want him to go to prison and I would like the judge to bear that in mind when he does sentence him.
“He did a bad thing in anger, I don’t know why he chose to do what he did to me, it hurt and frightened me but I don’t seek any kind of revenge for that.
“I don’t want him to suffer, I would like him to be free to live the rest of his life in peace and tolerance, not in anger and bitterness.
“Perhaps that is something everyone who shows anger and resentment towards muslim people in Britain could learn to do, maybe everyone could stop the hatred and chill.”
On the Echo’s Facebook page, a number of commenters praised the woman’s comments.
Sue Smith wrote: “Everyone deserves forgiveness...don’t they? Isn’t that what we are taught?
“That she can forgive makes her far superior and will enable her to move on.”
Jennifer Hudson wrote: “An incredible act of tolerance and forgiveness from this lady, we could all learn a lesson from her.”
Peter West added: “Very magnanimous of her.”
Ian Taggart wrote: “Hopefully he will see this and feel sorry for his actions. Good on the lady.”
And Yvonne Shevill wrote: “He doesn’t deserve her forgiveness.”
Scotter attacked her in July last year, 10 days after the Brexit vote.
She was waiting with her nine-year-old son for her husband outside a store in Sunderland’s Bridges shopping centre when he “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.
A witness heard Scotter shout: “Here, take that ****** off, you are in our country now, you stupid ******* Muslim.”
Scotter was also heard to say: “Our Britain, you live by our ******* rules” before coming out with more racist abuse.
He has admitted racially aggravated assault and has 66 previous convictions for 157 offences, including actual bodily harm, breaching a Football Banning Order and racially aggravated criminal damage.