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A serial criminal who launched a foul-mouthed racist attack on a woman wearing an Islamic head garment has been locked up for more than a year.

Peter Scotter’s barrister insisted it was no co-incidence that his client committed the offences just weeks after the Brexit referendum last year and amid continued political discussions

“playing the race card”.

Scotter, 56, of Beach Street, Roker, Sunderland, assaulted the mother, who was shopping with her nine-year-old son and husband, and said “you are in our country now” before beginning his tirade of racial abuse.

The force he then used to pull off the niqab garment in July last year in the Bridges Shopping Centre, Sunderland, caused her to fall to the floor.

Tony Hawks, defending, told Newcastle Crown Court that in the weeks leading up to the attack certain politicians and sections of the press had been “playing the race card”.

He said there was “no doubt that what he did was an ignorant and despicable piece of behaviour” and he was an “ignorant and ill-educated man” who “knows nothing whatsoever about Islam”.

But he added: “It’s no coincidence that this occurred within a week or so of the Brexit referendum. Where the press and politicians were banging the drum about taking our country back.

“They were playing the race card and, in the case of Ukip, a disgraceful advertisement showing a queue of refugees.

“He has to take responsibility for his own actions, but is it simply a coincidence that after listening to weeks of that rhetoric the defendant was not affected?”

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court that Scotter was escorted out of the centre by a security guard after the assault but refused to comply with two police community support officers and continued the torrent of abuse.

At a previous hearing he admitted racially aggravated assault by beating and racially aggravated harassment.

He has also been receiving treatment for cancer in his mouth, meaning Monday’s sentencing hearing was postponed a number of times.

The court heard he had 70 previous convictions, including throwing bricks with racist stickers on them at a house with refugees inside.

Mr Pallister said the victim described how she regularly suffers abuse but that this was way beyond what she and her family normally endured.

She said it had left her fearful to go out and “disgusted” that it had happened in front of her son.

Members of the public who ran to her help spoke of their shock and one shop assistant said she was moved to tears.

Jailing Scotter for 15 months, Judge Stephen Earl said he had used “appalling language” in a public place.

He said: “Comments such as these cannot be acceptable in a civilised society.”

He also ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £140.

Sunderland Echo

A man who pulled a niqab off a woman’s face and called her a “stupid” Muslim has been jailed for 15 months.

Peter Scotter shouted “You are in our country now” when he attacked his victim, who was with her young son, at a Sunderland shopping centre last July.

The 56-year-old, of Beach Street, Roker, had admitted racially aggravated assault by beating and racially aggravated harassment.

He was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.

The judge said it was “appalling abusive behaviour grounded in religious bigotry”.

At an earlier hearing, the court was told the victim, 29, was standing outside the Bridges shopping centre when Scotter grabbed her veil and almost threw her to the ground.

After his arrest, he said: “She could have been a bomber.”

His victim was left feeling as if she could not go out, prosecutor Laura Lax said.

Tony Hawks, defending, said Scotter had recently been diagnosed with a cancerous tumour under his tongue and was due to undergo surgery.

He had 66 previous convictions, including actual bodily harm and racially aggravated criminal damage.
BBC News

Court hears Peter Scotter yelled ‘you’re in our country now’ at victim, who was in shopping centre with nine-year-old son

 Peter Scotter gesturing to the media outside Newcastle crown court. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/PA


Peter Scotter gesturing to the media outside Newcastle crown court. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/PA

A man has admitted pulling a niqab off a woman in a shopping centre and yelling racist abuse at her.

Peter Scotter, 55, of Roker, Sunderland, appeared at Newcastle crown court to admit racially aggravated assault by beating and a separate charge of racially aggravated harassment.

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

Tony Hawks, defending, said Scotter had been diagnosed with a serious cancerous tumour under his tongue last week and was due to have an operation next Monday. “I have seen some documentation showing that the diagnosis is pretty bad,” the barrister said.

The judge, Stephen Earl, said he would sentence Scotter later, once he had heard more details about the diagnosis. The judge said: “This is a custodial-band sentence, given his record and the nature of his actions.”

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 Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland 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.

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 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 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 had been due to stand trial for the niqab offences next month.

The judge told Scotter he would be sentenced in three weeks’ time and granted him conditional bail.

As Scotter left court, he declined to answer why he was covering his face with a scarf and gestured defiantly to waiting photographers.

The Guardian

Peter Scotter. Credit: PA

Peter Scotter. Credit: PA

A man who became abusive to Sunderland paramedics who were trying to help him spat into a police officer’s eye in facing a jail sentence.

Peter Scotter, 55, carried out the act at Sunderland Royal Hospital – where he had been taken for treatment after being arrested, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess said the incident started when police were called by the ambulance service at 6.20pm, on October 26, to Hendon Road, where Scotter was behaving aggressively.

As officers boarded the ambulance, they saw him sitting in a chair with a minor head injury.

Ms Burgess said there was a strong small of alcohol on Scotter and he seemed extremely drunk.

She said he then launched in to a torrent of abuse and – despite repeatedly being told to calm down – he continued his tirade and was arrested and taken to Southwick police station.

Ms Burgess said: “Due to the head injury he was then transported to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“He was taken to a treatment room and appeared to calm down.

“He requested removal of the handcuffs but, after the nurses had left the room, he lunged forward and spat a mouthful of spit into the officer’s face.

“Some of this gone into the officer’s left eye.”

Scotter, of Beach Street, Sunderland, pleaded guilty being drunk and disorderly and assaulting a police officer.

Anna Haq, defending, said: “This incident in the hospital with the police officer. Mr Scotter is fully aware that, no doubt, you will be looking towards a custodial sentence in relation to this incident.

“Mr Scotter is ashamed of his behaviour and has no recollection of it.”

She added: “He’d had seven pints of alcohol but that would not put him into this state.

“He does not understand how he received his head injury.”

The case was adjourned for reports to be prepared and Scotter was told by the bench that they did not rule out custody.

He will be sentenced at South Tyneside Magistrates’ court on December 6.

Sunderland Echo

A CANNABIS smoker was caught out by police officers with a nose for crime.

Brazen Peter Scotter was puffing on the class B drug when he walked past two officers in Sunderland city centre, at 4pm on March 13.

They noticed that the 51-year-old, from Hendon Close, smelt strongly of cannabis and threw the cigarette he was smoking to the floor, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard.

Prosecutor John McGlone said one of the officers found it contained cannabis.

He said Scotter produced more cannabis in a bag and added: “That was seized from him.”

Anna Metcalfe, defending, said Scotter accepted he was in possession of cannabis.

She said: “He pleads guilty at the first available opportunity, and you have heard he assisted with the police search and offered to them the cannabis he had in his possession.

“He is in breach of a suspended sentence order in relation to criminal damage that was racially aggravated.

“He feels very foolish for jeopardising his liberty over a small piece of cannabis. He does not use cannabis regularly, but does use it socially.”

Magistrates did not activate Scotter’s suspended sentence, but instead imposed a 12-month conditional discharge and order he pay £85 towards court costs.
Sunderland Echo

A MAN has been jailed after creeping into a friend’s bedroom, throwing a glass of milk in her face and attacking her.

Peter Scotter, who had known his victim for more than 20 years, let himself into her bedroom where punched her repeatedly and hit her with the empty glass after throwing the contents in her face during the 15-minute ordeal.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 52-year-old had accused the woman, who he would regularly meet for cups of tea as a friend, of spreading rumours about him.

She was left with a swollen face and a cut to her scalp from the glass attack.

Judge John Evans yesterday jailed Scotter, of Hendon Close, Sunderland, for 21 months and ordered him to stay away from his victim forever, under the terms of a restraining order.

The judge told him: “You assaulted her in a way which was wholly unacceptable. It was an appalling incident.”

The court heard the victim had been asleep when she heard a noise in her home and somebody coming up the stairs in the early morning of November 10 last year.

Prosecutor Simon Worthy told the court: “Before she had a chance to speak he punched her three times to the face.

“He then picked up a glass of milk from the bedside cabinet and threw the milk in her face before hitting the glass off the top of her head.”

The court heard at the time of the attack Scotter was on a suspended sentence for hurling racist abuse at a shopkeeper.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Scotter had been “lifelong” friends with the woman.

Mr Adams said: “They had been friends since they were very small and had helped each other out over the years.

“It was the fact of being wrongfully called in the way he was he took umbrage with.”

Scotter had admitted assault causing bodily harm.

Sunderland Echo