A MAN who ripped off the veil of a Muslim woman in a Solihull shopping centre has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
Ian Brazier, from Shirley, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault at Solihull Magistrates’ Court last month.
The 26-year-old was arrested at his home in April after a tip off from members of the public who had seen a police appeal.
The attack happened on Saturday March 3 when Brazier pulled the niqab from the face of 26-year-old Farhana Chughtai as she shopped with her children.
Brazier claimed that he took out his frustration on Mrs Chughtai while under the influence of cannabis and after he discovered that the two films he had wanted to watch at a local cinema were not showing.
Magistrates’ handed him a six month jail sentence suspended for 18 months, an 18 month supervision order and a 21-day activity requirement which examines diversity and prejudice.
Brazier was also ordered to pay his victim £100 compensation and undertake 250 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Chief Inspector Kevin Doyle, from Solihull police, said: “Despite the shocking nature of this offence, reports of crimes like this are exceptionally rare both in Solihull and the wider West Midlands.
“When they are reported to us, I would like to assure victims that they are investigated thoroughly, professionally and victims treated with the upmost dignity and respect.
“Today’s sentence shows that there is no place for hate in Solihull.”
In a statement, Mrs Chughtai, said: “At the time, the attack I felt violated and very distressed. Today I remain self-conscious and worry that the same thing may happen to me again.
“I am aware of other similar incidents in the West Midlands which have not been reported to police. This should not be the case. Victims should report these crimes as soon as they happen.
“I am pleased with the efforts to trace my attacker and the way they have handled this investigation.”
You can report hate crimes via the True Vision website: www.report-it.org.uk