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Rawtenstall family left 'humiliated' by race-hate campaign
A FAMILY are too afraid to go out at night after suffering two years of racial abuse.
Jomila Begum, 60, and her 72-year-old husband Dara Miah say they have been left humiliated by the hate campaign.
Police said a family who are behind some of the trouble in Rawtenstall are known to them.
Mrs Begum, was left shaking with terror when a yob smashed her front window, showering her in glass.
Her daughter Kalida, 36, a teaching assistant, said the family known to police had made their lives hell.
She said: “She was shaking. I’m worried about my dad’s health.
“He has had two heart attacks and heart surgery.
“The stress of all this makes me frightened something might happen to him.
“The people on the street are mainly elderly Asian people. There’s a group who terrorise them, saying racist things to them and threatening them. "Many people have told me how scared they are.”
Police said they were monitoring the situation.
Sgt Ben Hodgkinson, who is in charge of the Pennine Division's hate crime unit, said: “It’s an unusual crime for Rossendale.
“We have been to the house and reassured the victims, made sure there hasn’t been any more incidents and that there isn’t any underlying issues which need addressing.
“Ourselves and the neighbourhood police are speaking with people in the neighbourhood.”
In a recent attack, the living room window was smashed as Mrs Begum was breaking her fast for Ramadan.
Mrs Begum, who lives in Peter Street and is a grandmother-of-ten, went to her front door only to be met with insults and threats from three young men.
She phoned her daughter Kalida, who lives in Schofield Road, Rawtenstall, who rushed to her parents' home. She also suffered a tirade of racial slurs.
Mrs Begum, a retired housewife and mother-of-five, said: “I was so shocked and scared. I didn’t know what would happen next.
"I felt humiliated because of what they said to me. When the police took my statement, they asked me how I felt. I said to them: ‘How would you feel if someone had spoken to you like that because of the colour of your skin?’”
Kalida said her mum and dad, who worked at David Whitehead cotton mill for 19 years and moved to Rossendale 36 years ago from Bangladesh, are now too scared to leave their house after dark.
The drunken teenager responsible for smashing the window has now been given a six -week curfew by Burnley magistrates after the offensive outburst at about 9.30pm, on July 26.
Mark Rooth, 19, who has a long criminal record, admitted racially aggravated harassment, alarm, or distress, criminal damage of £100 and police obstruction.
The defendant, of Hardman Avenue, Rawtenstall, must stay indoors between 8pm and 6am. He was ordered to pay £85 costs, £150 compensation and a £60 victim surcharge.
Alex Mann, prosecuting, said three young men were outside Mrs Begum's property and were agitated and intimidating. One was shouting: "Stay in your house or we will break the windows."
Police arrived and found Rooth covered in blood. PC Linda Haywood tried to take hold of him by the arm.
She was unable to handcuff him as she had just used them and told him to sit in the police car. The defendant saw others being arrested, was aggressive and demanded to be let out.
Rooth was swearing and making racist comments. The officer had to punch him to stop him getting out of the vehicle.
Janet Sime, for Rooth, said he had quite clearly got involved with a group of people he shouldn't have. She said Rooth had struck out in a temper after being hit in the face by someone.
Speaking after the court case, Inspector John Fryer, of Rossendale Police, said: “We take hate crime and intimidation very seriously and sought justice for Mrs Begum and her family.
“The family who cause trouble on Peter Street are known to us. There have been no further complaints since the incident.”