A Muslim woman who had her niqab ripped from her face, has urged a judge not to jail her attacker after finding out he had cancer.
Peter Scotter, 55, admitted to racially aggravated assault by beating and racially aggravated harassment.
He ripped her veil off with such force that he nearly threw her to the ground, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
But after learning he had cancer, his victim asked the judge not to send him to prison.
“I did not realise that the man had cancer," she said, according to the Sunderland Echo. "I don’t want him to go to prison and I would like the judge to bear that in mind when he does sentence him.
“He did a bad thing in anger, I don’t know why he chose to do what he did to me, it hurt and frightened me but I don’t seek any kind of revenge for that.
“I don’t want him to suffer, I would like him to be free to live the rest of his life in peace and tolerance, not in anger and bitterness.”
She added: “Maybe everyone could stop the hatred and chill.”
Scotter attacked the 39-year-old mother in Sunderland's Bridges shopping centre, shouting: "You are in our country now, you stupid f****** Muslim."
He was due to appear at the court for sentencing, but the trial has been adjourned until early May, to allow doctors to examine a cancerous tumour found under his tongue.
Despite her forgiving attitude, his victim said she no longer feels safe when she leaves the house and doesn’t go out as much as she used to.
Additional reporting by PA