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Solicitor who racially abused Muslim mother and son on train fined

Solicitor who racially abused Muslim mother and son on train fined

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday February 07 2017

BBC NewsITV News and Daily Telegraph all report on the sentencing of a solicitor who racially abused a mother and her young son as they travelled on a train from London to Glasgow last December.

Sanaa Shahid and her four year old son, Zayn, were travelling home in a first class carriage on the 14:30 Virgin Trains service to Glasgow on 29 December when they were hounded by Alexander Mackinnon.

ITV reports that Mackinnon initially shouted at young Zayn telling him to be quiet. After Mrs Shahid asked Mackinnon not to shout at her son, the 47-year-old replied with “a barrage of racist abuse”, demanding to “know where she came from”, “why didn’t she go back there”, and that she “shouldn’t be travelling in first class”.

Mrs Shahid then reported Mackinnon to a member of train staff and began filming the abuse.

In the video, Mackinnon can be seen speaking to someone on his phone. He is heard saying: “It’s my word against hers. I’m going to get off the train if it stops at Carlisle and wait for the next one. That stupid cow, she doesn’t belong in this country. Now she’ll accuse me of insulting her and discrimination.”

As Mackinnon ends his phone call, the train manager can be seen approaching him. “See now it’s not just her word, it’s mine as well because I heard it all,” the member of staff told Mackinnon.

“You’ll have to accept you’re a drunken racist and you need to get off the train.”

Footage on the BBC website shows Mackinnon continuing the abuse as he prepares to be escorted off the train at Carlisle. “You’re so wonderful wasting police time, miss, and your f***ing son.”

Mrs Shahid responds telling Mackinnon, “You’re a disgrace to humanity. Just get off.”

Carlisle Magistrates Court heard Mackinnon continued the racist rant “all the way through to his police interview”.

Mackinnon admitted a racially aggravated public order offence in court. He was fined £1,154, ordered to pay £50 compensation to Mrs Shahid, a £150 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

PC Mark Mellenthin from British Transport Police said Mrs Shahid had been “visibly distressed and shaken by Mackinnon’s frightening racist outburst”.

He also said, “People like MacKinnon must understand that abusive, racist behaviour like this has no place on the railway and will not be tolerated. Everyone has the right to travel in safety without fear of abuse like this, violence or intimidation.”

Mrs Shahid, who the Telegraph reports is also a lawyer, praised the train staff on Twitter for assisting her during the incident. She said a member of the train crew “sat with us until the guy was taken off”. She also thanked British Transport Police, tweeting “Thank you for the excellent support and reassurance u gave following this incident and for pursuing the matter.”


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