LONDON – A Muslim mother-of-four whose veil was ripped off by a convicted racist has pleaded for her attacker’s freedom after she discovered he had cancer.
“I did not realize the man had cancer. I don’t want him to go to prison,” 39-year-old victim, who was not identified, told The Daily Mirror on Tuesday, March 21.
“I would like the judge to bear that in mind when he does sentence him.”
The attack occurred when the Muslim mother was waiting for her husband with her 9-year-old child outside Sunderland’s Bridges shopping center.
Peter Scotter, 55, approached the woman and pulled her niqab off, and almost threw her to the ground.
The mum, whose nine-year-old son had been with her, said: “I don’t feel safe anymore when I go out.”
“I don’t go into town as often as I did, but I have been racially abused since.”
The victim, who began wearing her niqab shortly before the attack, added: “It is my own choice. I accept other people’s choices and I hoped others would accept mine.”
Yet, she asserted that she was not seeking any revenge on her attacker, who has 66 previous convictions.
“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,” she said.
“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.
“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.”
Scotter, who has a tumor under his tongue that requires surgery, has admitted the racially aggravated assault.
He is due to be sentenced on May 2 at Newcastle crown court. His past convictions include actual bodily harm and racially aggravated criminal damage.