A Liverpool woman has pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault after she knocked out a Muslim mother in front of her young children in a racist attack at McDonald’s.
The Liverpool Echo reports that Kellie Cooke, 33, mocked Hamman Hamood’s accent before hurling racist abuse and trying to pull off her headscarf – then knocking her to the floor.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that one of Mrs Hamood’s terrified children later told officers: “Mummy was sleeping on the floor.”
Mum-of-three Cooke also pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence yesterday.
Melanie Tomlinson, prosecuting, told the court Mrs Hamood, 34, was buying a meal for her family in the Kensington branch of the restaurant at around 8.20pm on March 27, when she encountered Cooke.
She said: “As Mrs Hamood waited at the counter to order her food she became aware of the defendant laughing.
“The defendant asked the complainant what a Frappucino was. The complainant pointed at a photo to show her, and the defendant continued to laugh and mock the way the complainant spoke.
“(Cooke) turned to members of staff and said ‘she doesn’t know what she’s saying’. She then said ‘go back to your own country, you shouldn’t wear that scarf in this country’, and ‘why are you not wearing a full face covering, f*** you’.”
The court heard Cooke became extremely aggressive and started shouting at Mrs Hamood’s four young children.
The victim phoned her husband for help but as she put the phone down Cooke tried to grab her headscarf.
Ms Tomlinson said: “The next thing she can remember is waking up dazed.”
The court was told a witness flagged down a passing police community support officer who entered the restaurant and found Cooke hurling racist insults.
Cooke was arrested and later admitted the offence, but could offer no explanation.
Matthew O’Neill, defending, said his client had no previous convictions and the incident was “out of character.”
District Judge Wendy Lloyd, told Cooke she needed a pre-sentence report before passing sentence.
She said: “This must have been extremely frightening for these victims. As well as frightening, it was utterly degrading for her and her children who were no doubt going out for what they thought would be a lovely meal.”
Judge Lloyd adjourned the case until May 17 for a report to be prepared by the Probation Service, but told Cooke she could still commit it to the Crown Court for harsher punishment.
She said: “I’m not making any promises, imprisonment is certainly in no way being ruled out.”
Cooke was released on bail with conditions not to contact the victim.