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Teenager jailed for ripping off Muslim woman’s hijab in shopping centre

Teenager jailed for ripping off Muslim woman’s hijab in shopping centre

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday February 08 2017

 STV News reports on the court appearance of a Scottish teenager who assaulted a Muslim woman at a shopping centre in Stirling, trying to rip off her headscarf.

Leighton MacKenzie, 18, appeared before Stirling Sheriff Court on charges of religiously aggravated assault in connection with the incident which happened on April 18, 2016.

The court heard MacKenzie, who was drunk at the time, walked up behind Ghader Mashhadi as she strolled through the Thistles mall in Stirling with her mother and baby, and tried to remove her headscarf.

Ms Mashhadi, 27, “felt her Muslim headscarf being pulled and turned and saw the accused, who was with another male, who were laughing together, and at her.”

The victim contacted the centre’s security staff who checked CCTV for evidence of the attack. Of three cameras, one had caught the incident on video. 

MacKenzie was tracked down a week later and told the police the incident was merely a “prank”.

The court heard MacKenzie had had too much to drink and was “larking about” with friends in the shopping centre when one of them “dared” him to rip off Ms Mashhadi’s scarf.

He pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated assault and admitted the act was “disrespectful” to the victim. 

The court heard that MacKenzie was already serving a sentence at Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution after pleading guilty last week to breaching several community payback orders.

Sheriff Richard McFarlane sentenced MacKenzie to nine weeks’ youth custody, reduced from three months on account of his entering a guilty plea.

Sheriff McFarlane told MacKenzie: “It was wholly obvious what this lady was wearing and why she was wearing it. You are sadly a stark example of youths who drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol and get into trouble time and time again.”


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