Peter Scotter 'ripped veil from Muslim woman in Sunderland'
A man accused of ripping a niqab from a Muslim woman in a Sunderland shopping centre and shouting racist abuse is to face a crown court hearing.
Peter Scotter, 55, is charged with racially aggravated common assault on the woman, who was with her nine-year-old daughter, on 3 July.
Magistrates in Sunderland heard the alleged incident at the city's Bridges centre left the woman with neck pain.
The case was referred to Newcastle Crown Court for a hearing on 16 August.
Mr Scotter, of Beach Street, Sunderland, did not enter a plea during the brief hearing.
He is also accused of causing alarm, harassment or distress to a female police officer called to attend the incident.
Chairman of the Bench Robert Dash said: "We consider that the allegations are so serious we cannot deal with them.
"We are going to therefore refer you to Newcastle Crown Court."
Mr Scotter made gestures to photographers as he left the court.