Solicitor fined for racially abusing mother and child

24th Feb 2017


Nadine Osman

A solicitor has been fined over £1,000 on February 3 after hurling racist abuse at an Asian mum in front of her four-year-old son on a train.

Alexander MacKinnon, 47, of Mansionhouse Road, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to the racially aggravated public order offence. The incident, which happened on December 29 last year on a train from London Euston to Glasgow, was captured on video by the Glasgow-born victim.

The court heard how MacKinnon, who had been drinking and was seated in the first class carriage of the 2.30pm Virgin West Coast Train, shouted at a four-year-old child, telling him to be quiet.

When the child’s mother Sanaa Shahid asked him not to shout at her son, he replied with a barrage of racist abuse. MacKinnon told the pair: “You don’t deserve to be here. Bloody foreigners. Where were you even born?”

He asked why “didn’t she go back there” and insisted that she should not be in first class. Shahid, who works as a corporate lawyer, reported MacKinnon to a member of rail staff. The train manager was informed who told MacKinnon he would be taken off the train at Carlisle and met by police.

He responded by continuing his racist rant, accusing his victim of wasting police time by reporting the matter and adding that she shouldn’t be in this country. In the video, MacKinnon appears to be very drunk and can be seen drinking red wine straight from a bottle.


Speaking on the phone to a friend, he says: “It’s my word against hers. I’m going to get off the train if it stops at Carlisle and wait for another…she doesn’t belong in this country. “Now she’ll accuse me of insulting her and discrimination.”

The train manager gets up and tells him: “It’s not just your word against hers, it’s mine as well because I heard it all.” MacKinnon responds: “Yeah, I wanted you to.” In the police interview, MacKinnon continued to be abusive and racist about his victim.

In a statement to The Muslim News, PC Mark Mellenthin said Shahid “was visibly distressed and shaken by MacKinnon’s frightening racist outburst. Thankfully the train manager stepped in before the abuse escalated.”

“People like MacKinnon must understand that abusive, racist behaviour like this has no place on the railway and will not be tolerated. Everyone has the right to travel in safety without fear of abuse like this, violence or intimidation.”

Shahid said the incident had also left her young son fearful. She said she was determined to speak up against racism. She told the programme: “I’m born and bred in Glasgow. I consider myself to be Scottish Pakistani. Everything has finished now, but if I was to travel down to London, if I go on public transport, it would still be in the back of my mind.”

She added, “I’m not scared to speak up, which is why I did speak up about all of this because no-one should accept this and no-one should make you feel like you don’t belong in your own country. But the thing that scares me is that there’s people out there that won’t know what to say. ”

“If this was to happen to my mum, my mum would maybe turn round and say to me ’just ignore it”.


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