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.