Racist went on ‘wicked’ campaign of harassment against Muslim shop owner

A racist man went on a “wicked and upsetting” campaign of harassment against a newsagent after claiming the shop owner stole his £10m winning lottery ticket.

James Young produced leaflets claiming shopkeeper Imran Hussain was a “Muslim lottery ticket thief” then posted them to shops and homes near the newsagent in Broughty Ferry, Dundee.

Young at one stage told Mr Hussain: “You’re a Muslim – maybe the Koran tells you to cheat people.” He also made covert videos in Thornton’s Newsagents, run by Mr Hussain, then posted one of them on YouTube. The YouTube video – titled Lottery ticket thief – was accompanied by text branding Mr Hussain a “Muslim thief” and claiming he had “conned old people”.

He was later arrested after going into the shop in the city’s Gray Street and threatening Mr Hussain’s wife, Shubnum, stating he would kill them both.

Fiscal depute Ross Cargill told Dundee Sheriff Court on Monday: “The accused first entered Mr Hussain’s shop on April 3 this year and claimed he handed over a winning Euromillions lottery ticket to a member of staff.

“He stated that the member of staff must have kept the ticket for himself. On April 13 the accused came back in and said he had contacted Camelot about the ticket and was going to the police and Mr Hussain agreed that was the correct course of action. Unknown to Mr Hussain the accused filmed the conversation with a camera located in the pocket of his top.”

Young, of Aboyne Avenue, Dundee, pled guilty to a racially aggravated breach of the peace and to uttering threats against Mr and Mrs Hussain.

Mr Cargill added: “The accused cannot remember the numbers on the ticket or prove it was a winner.”

Sheriff Alistair Duff described Young’s behaviour as “nasty harassment” and warned him he could face jail. He told the accused: “I take the view that this is extremely serious bad behaviour. The reality is that whether it is imagined or real injustice your behaviour towards the gentleman was wicked and upsetting.”

Young will be sentenced later this month.

STV, 1 August 2011