Rebecca Telford / Facebook
A race-hate attacker who spat in a nine-month-old baby’s face and said “white people shouldn’t breed” has avoided jail, despite his attack being totally unprovoked.
Hairdresser Rebecca Telford, 25, was walking her baby, Layla-Jean, in South Shields last January when she was approached by Rezzas Abdulla, 33, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court: “He leant into the pushchair and spat into the face of her daughter.
“As he did so, he shouted or said “white people shouldn’t breed”.”
Telford confronted Abdulla but he simply told her to “shut the fuck up” and walked off, leaving her stunned, the Daily Mail has reported. She tried to take a picture but was too shocked.
Miss Dowling told the court that Abdulla’s spit was “sprayed around” Layla-Jean’s face, and that her mother had to be handed a tissue by a passer-by to wipe it off.
Abdulla, who has two previous race-hate convictions for attacks on white women, was later tracked down through CCTV.
In a victim impact statement, Ms Telford told the police: “I am completely disgusted and distressed that a grown man, regardless of race or religion, would spit on a defenceless baby in a completely unprovoked attack.
“If he had just walked by I would not have even noticed him, there was no eye contact and no words had been exchanged. I had never seen him before. I believe he spat on her purely because we are white, I was a lone female and an easy target.”
Layla-Jean had to be taken to the doctors for tests following the incident, to ascertain whether she was at risk of infection.
Following the attack Abdulla was treated for a psychiatric condition in hospital, later receiving ongoing treatment after being released.
Consequently, he was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment for the attack, suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation and mental health treatment requirements.
The judge in the case told Abdulla that he had “a problem, it seems to me, with white women”, but he added that Abdulla’s deteriorating mental health “contributed” toward the offence, and said “society in general” would be better served by Abdulla continuing to receive treatment.
Speaking after the court case, Ms Telford said: “South Shields is really multicultural, and I have never witnessed anything like this before, between any races.
“It was horrifying. I am glad he has been brought to justice, but I think he has got off lightly.
“I am not racist at all but I honestly think if it was the other way round and I had been abusive towards him, then I would have been treated differently.
“Layla-Jean was just nine months old. She did not have a clue what was going on, but she was still distressed.”
She added: “I phoned the doctor and I was told that Layla-Jean might need to have a BCG injection, in case she had contracted TB.
“Normally kids don’t get vaccinated until they are much older, and it would have been a lot for her to go through.
“Luckily, it wasn’t necessary in the end, but it put me through a lot of worry and stress.
“I wasn’t sure if the police would take what had happened seriously, because it wasn’t physically violent, but they were fantastic, and managed to catch him within a few days.”