Sunderland yob who ripped off woman’s niqab jailed after attacking former female friend with hammer while out on licence

A yob who made headlines when he ripped a woman’s niqab from her face in Sunderland has been jailed after attacking a former female friend with a hammer.

Peter Scotter, 58, hit the woman on the head with the tool in a pub in Sunderland, causing a 5.5cm laceration to the top of her head after she spurned his advances.

At the time of the attack Scotter was on licence for racially aggravated common assault after he tore a headscarf from a Muslim woman in The Bridges shopping centre.

Scotter had told his victim, “you’re in our country now, get out”, and, “our Britain, you live by our rules”, as racial tension in the country ran high in the days after Britain voted to leave the EU.

He was jailed for 15 months before being released on licence.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how at around 10pm on September 3 last year Scotter entered The Charltons pub in Sunderland.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, told the court the victim regarded him as a friend until he asked her to be his girlfriend, after which she avoided him.

Mr Hadfield said: “She was standing at the bar and recalls the defendant spoke to her.

“What she felt was a painful blow to the top of her head and when she looked up what she saw was the defendant with a hammer in his hand.

“She was struck with a hammer, one blow, when they were face to face.”

Scotter was then escorted out by other people in the pub.

Mr Hadfield told the court that in her victim impact statement the woman had said she had done absolutely nothing to deserve the attack, felt he could have “killed her” and was now anxious to leave her home.

On July 3 2016 Scotter, who at the time had 70 previous convictions, had approached a 29-year-old Muslim woman while she waited for her husband outside a shop.

He then reached out and pulled her niqab veil from her head and threw it on the ground – exposing her face to the public.

The court heard how Scotter shouted, “take that off, you stupid Muslim”, along with other racist slurs and the victim was left exposed and scared by what happened to her.

In relation to the most recent case Anthony Hawks, defending, said: “It is important that the events be looked at against the background.

“The background is that despite what the complainant says, it is she who wanted to have a relationship with the defendant who is married. He declined that.”

Mr Hawks said that Scotter said she had begun a campaign, including posts on social media against him, which lead him to believe that she was responsible for intimidating his mother.

He told the court: “That’s what caused the red mist to descend and for him to behave in the way he did.

“Nothing can justify what the defendant did, it was a cowardly and disgraceful thing to do and the defendant knows that.”

He added that Scotter is working and has stayed out of trouble for the last year since the incident.

Scotter pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and having an offensive weapon at an earlier hearing.

Mr Recorder Andrew Dallas sentenced Scotter, of Hendon Close, Sunderland, to 12-months imprisonment and said: “This was an extremely serious incident.

“It was not spontaneous, it was premeditated.

“You have an appalling record, especially for violence.”

Mr Recorder Dallas also put a five-year restraining order in place, preventing him from contacting the victim and ordered Scotter to pay a victim surcharge.`

Sunderland Echo

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