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Anger as racist who assaulted Muslim female doctor escapes prison sentence

29th Apr 2016

Nadine Osman

A Muslim doctor has voiced her disappointment after a Nottingham man who had racially assaulted her walked away from court with a fine and volunteer work.

Aiden Fletcher was ordered to pay £500 Dr Syeda Jafari, 33, after admitting racially assaulting her on October 29, 2015. He headbutted her in a city street while she was with friends before telling her to “Go back to your country.”

Jafari, who works in the A&E at the Queen’s Medical Centre, needed treatment for concussion.

On March 14 Nottingham Magistrates’ Court handed the 23 year old six-month prison term, suspended for two years and was ordered to do 140 hours of unpaid work, as well as paying the compensation and £280 costs.

The mother of three, who has donated the compensation money to an anti-hate crime charity, says she is “disappointed” her attacker escaped a custodial sentence. “I can’t keep a penny out of this sort of person. The money will be going to charity, of course. I just hope he has learnt his lesson. I am feeling a bit low because of the sentence,” added Jarafi.

Deputy District Judge, David Gostling, told Fletcher: “This was a disgusting offence and your aunt describes you as ‘fantastic’. That’s not the word I would use. You headbutted this doctor, a lady out with friends. This was drunken oafish behaviour with racist remarks.”

The judge said he “agonised” over whether to send Fletcher to prison but decided against that because a report said he cares for four children. He criticised Fletcher for initially pleading not guilty and only changing his mind on the day of the trial.

The judge added: “You were so drunk you could not remember what happened. You decided they [four female witnesses] needed challenging in the court. That is pretty despicable.”

Kate Hartley, prosecuting, said the women were on the street after dark trying to find the home of a friend whose mother had just died in Pakistan. While they were talking, Fletcher headbutted the doctor and made the remark.

Three other women were left shocked by the attack and Jafari said: “I had never been treated like that before in my life. My dad was extremely worried for my safety after that. My dad has since died with the feeling that his daughter was not safe.”

The court heard that Fletcher had been drinking because he attended his cousin’s funeral that day.

Fletcher must attend 40 sessions with probation officers to face up to his actions. He had one previous conviction, an offence of affray in 2011.

 

 

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