15 December 2015

Veil row halts race trial - Muslim’s refusal to show face

A SHOCKED sheriff who halted a trial after a Muslim witness refused to remove her veil said he’s been forced to balance “religious beliefs against the interests of justice”.

Lawman Craig McSherry dramatically postponed the court case against Richard Hynd, 50, who is accused of racial abuse near a mosque.

He made the decision after a key prosecution witness insisted she was unwilling to appear without a full face veil which left only her eyes visible, like the one above.

The woman’s refusal to remove the covering was announced just minutes before proceedings were set to start at Dunfermline Sheriff Court yesterday.

Defence solicitor Alexander Flett said: “When asked if she was prepared to remove the veil for identification, she said, ‘No’.”

Sheriff McSherry said he found it “extremely hard to understand” why the matter had not been raised at preliminary hearings. But he added: “If that’s her position, then in order for the Crown to have evidence from her there would have to be a decision from the court. [The Scottish Sun] Read more