A MOTHER-of-four has spoken of the fear she felt after being abused in a supermarket for wearing a veil.

Rahela Chowdhury, 32, was in a Tesco store with her children when she said she was approached by a man.


She said: “He started abusing me, asking me why I was wearing the full veil.

“It was the first time anyone had shouted at me in this way.

I was frozen and I didn’t know what to do.”

Mrs Chowdhury said she feared more for her children, two aged 12, one aged four and the other aged 11.

She added: “My youngest started crying uncontrollably.”

The incident happened sometime after 9pm and only ended when a member of staff intervened, Mrs Chowdhury said.

Security officers then removed the offender.

Her husband Khalil said: “She has been out rarely since and is really fearful that it could happen again.

“It is very upsetting for her for someone to start shouting ‘Why can’t I see your face?’ “This was a very distressing incident for her and now I make sure I go out with her.”

Mrs Chowdhury urged other victims of racial abuse to come forward.

She added: “The incident was reported and the person was in court.

“It has made me more fearful but at the same time I have become determined that I won’t let this change the way I am and who I am.”

At Burnley Magistrates’ Court, John Steven McDougall, 50, of Colne Road, Earby, admitted a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.

The offence, which was racially aggravated, relates to Mrs Chowdhury and another victim, Tanu Miah.

McDougall was ordered to undertake 200 hours unpaid work within 12 months, to pay a combined total of £100 compensation to the victims, as well as a £60 victim surcharge. He must also pay £85 costs and a £180 criminal court charge.

A second man, Jordan Steven McDougall, 28, of Padiham Road, Burnley, admitted a charge of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He received a conditional discharge for six months and was ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and a £150 criminal court charge.