South Shields woman jailed for drunken attack on Muslims

A drunken mum is behind bars today after a shocking race-hate attack – in which she pretended her child had been killed in Afghanistan.

Michelle Eager tried to pull off Zakir Mohammed’s religious headgear before spitting at her and then hitting the 24-year-old in the face. The 41-year-old, who was hurling foul abuse, then turned on Mrs Mohammed’s 17-year-old niece, Atif Khan, and also hit her in the face.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Eager, who was drunk, yelled at the women “you are from Afghanistan – you are not in Afghanistan now”. She then told them her son had been killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan – which was a lie.

The court was told that Mrs Mohammed – who has lived in the UK all her life – had moved to South Shields because she had been told it was “a nice place to live”. Her niece had recently come to Britain from Pakistan to study when the attack happened in October, as the two walked into South Shields from the town library.

The court heard how they tried to tell Eager that they too were against the Taliban and were from Pakistan, not Afghanistan. But Eager refused to calm down, despite a member of the public trying to intervene, and even threatened to turn up at the women’s homes if she found out where they lived.

Eager, of Warkworth Avenue, South Shields, admitted two charges of racially aggravated assault. The court heard she has previous convictions for drunken violence.

Judge Guy Whitburn jailed her for nine months. The judge said: “You showed yourself up as a woman who has very strong views which cannot be tolerated in a civilised society. Persons must be allowed, whatever their racial background, to walk around the streets of this country without being abused, spat towards or assaulted by people like you.”

Speaking after the case, Chief Inspector Michael Barton, of South Tyneside area police command, said: “A custodial sentence reflects how seriously offences of this kind are viewed.

Shields Gazette, 10 May 2012