Man who tore off Muslim woman’s veil convicted of assault

A man who tore a Muslim woman’s veil from her face as he passed her in the street has been ordered by a court to pay her £1,000 in compensation. Stephen Ard, 29, of Gypsy Lane, Leicester, also received a jail term of 16 weeks, suspended for a year, and 150 hours of community service.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard victim Rehana Sidat felt “invaded and scared to walk down the street alone”. Ard pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated assault. Ms Sidat, who runs a drop-in centre for people with learning difficulties in Leicester, said: “He pulled my veil off and said ‘get that off’, he was really quite angry, it was shocking. I felt frightened.”

BBC News, 14 December 2009

Update:  See also the Leicester Mercury, 16 December 2009