Glasgow & West Scotland

Refugee worker racially abused protesters

Shafiq Mohammed Image copyright Watchtower Media
Image caption Shafiq Mohammed was said to have resisted arrest

A pro-refugee campaigner racially abused counter demonstrators at a rally to welcome Syrian refugees to Scotland, a court has heard.

Shafiq Mohammed was also found to have resisted arrest at a demonstration in Monkton, South Ayrshire, in 2015.

The 50-year-old former Scottish Refugee Council worker was said to have verbally abused a woman and three men.

However, the sheriff did not formally proceed to conviction of the accused in respect of the charges.

At Ayr Sheriff Court, Sheriff Weir said he would consider a submission from Mr Mohammed's lawyer under section 246 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 when a further hearing is held in December.

He adjourned the case for the preparation of a criminal justice social work report.

During the court case, the sheriff heard how tempers flared as members of the far-right anti-immigration Scottish Defence League staged a counter demonstration against pro-refugee demonstrators on 15 November last year.

It followed 150 refugees being granted emergency accommodation at the Ayrshire town's Adamton Country House Hotel.

Mr Mohammed was said to have shouted that the group were "nothing but white bastards".

He denied behaving in a racially aggravated manner which was intended to cause alarm and distress.

Mr Mohammed claimed the four witnesses had conspired to make up the allegations against him.

Sheriff Robert Weir QC found that Mr Mohammed had behaved in the manner outlined in the charges but opted to reserve his verdict, adjourning the case until December.

He said it had been a "troubled case" and said the atmosphere at the rally had been "rendered toxic by other people".

The sheriff told Mr Mohammed his actions were "to be deplored".

The court heard Mr Mohammed had previously worked for property firm Orchard & Shipman, which has been paid more than £60m to house refugees in Scotland.

He is currently involved in the Asylum Seeker Housing (ASH) Project - an organisation campaigning on asylum seeker housing issues in the west of Scotland.

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