Glasgow & West Scotland

Emiliano Sanchez sentenced over 'niqab attack'

A man who ripped off a Muslim woman's religious veil during a racist attack in Glasgow has been ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

Spaniard Emiliano Sanchez confronted Shirin Akter outside a Lidl store in Dennistoun on 25 November 2013.

The 59-year-old yelled racist abuse at her and pulled off her niqab.

Sanchez was handed a community payback order at Glasgow Sheriff Court after he admitted harassing Ms Akter and acting in a racially aggravated manner.

Sheriff Alayne Swanson said the offence was "serious enough" to merit jail but instead opted for the non-custodial sentence.

Attack boast

Sanchez was also made the subject of a non harassment order, which means he cannot approach or contact Ms Akter within the next 12 months.

The court heard that Sanchez confronted Ms Akter as she left the Lidl store on Duke Street in Glasgow's east end.

He yelled in her face: "Why are you wearing this? This is not the Qur'an and is not allowed in this country."

Sanchez then pulled off Ms Akter's niqab before entering the shop and boasting to a worker.

Ms Akter was still near the store when Sanchez left and the court was told she "bravely chose to follow" him but he eventually got away.

Police were alerted, but initially Sanchez could not be traced.

'Totally unacceptable'

However, his wife was later in the same Lidl shop and the worker - who Sanchez spoke to after the niqab incident - managed to get from her where they lived.

This information was passed to police and Sanchez was detained at his flat in the nearby Drygate area.

Speaking following sentencing, procurator fiscal Katie Stewart, said: "Emiliano Sanchez subjected his innocent victim to an unprovoked assault and tirade of abuse solely based on her appearance.

"Such behaviour is totally unacceptable and every man, woman and child has the right to live free from violence, and without fear of humiliation, harassment or abuse, based on prejudice.

"We would encourage the public to report all such crimes to the police where, as with this case, they will be investigated carefully and prosecuted."

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