Man given conditional discharge over racist abuse of Muslim shop assistant
Categories: Latest News
Friday August 19 2016
The Ipswich Star reports on the case of a man who lashed out at a Muslim shop assistant after she referred to his bottle of wine as “booze” telling her “Calling wine booze is like calling all Muslims terrorists, like you.”
Rand Moore, 44, appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in connection with the incident which happened on 5 July.
The court heard that Moore had dropped into a store in the city centre to purchase a bottle of wine where he was served by a young Muslim female shop assistant who wore a headscarf.
As Moore approached the checkout, the shop assistant, who can’t be identified because of her age, called out to her manager about processing an alcohol sale and referred to Moore’s bottle of wine as “booze.”
Prosecutor David Bryant told the court “She called out to her manager about the fact she was selling booze, she used the word booze. That appeared to have irritated Mr Moore, but finding out he was 10p short he went out and seemed to be perfectly polite, but when he came back soon after that he seemed to have a completely different demeanour.”
Moore told the assistant, “By calling it booze you are making out I’m boozing it up.”
The assistant tried to calm Mr Moore saying she had meant to cause no offence with the term “booze” but Moore retorted “Calling wine booze is like calling all Muslims terrorists, like you.”
In a victim statement read out in court, the Muslim girl said: “I could feel a sharp pain go through my body, I could feel my face draining and he kept repeating the phrase over and over again. I was crying so much I was hysterical.”
“This incident has made me feel very insecure about who I am. It’s made me feel I am no longer safe not just in my workplace, but in the community. It’s made me feel like it’s going to go downhill from here.
“I was born and raised in Ipswich, I know many people, but one comment has made me feel I am not part of my community anymore.”
Moore, who initially denied the charge, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment in court yesterday. The local paper reports he was “visibly upset during the trial” and had “profusely apologised” to the victim’s father about his conduct.
Chairman of magistrates Jan Brennan said the incident happened as a result of a “misunderstanding on both sides”.
Moore was given a conditional discharge for six months. He was also asked to pay £50 to the victim for the distress caused to her, £20 victim surcharge and £50 towards court costs.