A 75-year-old Irishman who racially abused a Polish Muslim woman in Swansea, Wales, was fined £258 and was told by the judge he only avoided jail due to his old age.
The unnamed niqab-wearing woman was on Hanover Street and checking her phone on November 22, 2016, when she was told take her face veil off and go back to her own country.
Bert Fahy claimed he was “fearful” because he couldn’t see her eyes. Fahy swore and shouted at the woman who was wearing a niqab covering her face – after they met on a street in the Uplands area of the city, calling her a “black b*****d”.
Swansea Magistrates Court heard Fahy then told the woman to “take that f*****g thing off your face” and “go back to your own country.”Fahy pleaded guilty to racially or religiously aggravated public order when he appeared before a district judge.
Lisa Jones, prosecuting, said the victim in the case was a Polish national who wore a niqab for religious reasons, and who had lived in Britain for the last nine years.
The court heard the woman told Fahy she would call the police if he continued shouting at her which he did.
After the encounter, the woman followed the man to a block of flats on the road, noted the address and then called the police. In a victim impact statement read to the court, the woman said the encounter had left her feeling “anxious and afraid”. She said: “Just because I follow my religion, I should not be treated like this.”
Anthony O’Connell, representing Fahy, said his client claimed he had felt “fearful” because he couldn’t see the woman’s eyes.
District judge David Parsons told Fahy that only his clean character and age was saving him from being sent to prison. Fahy was fined £258 and ordered to pay his victim £200 compensation. He must also pay £85 towards prosecution costs.