Racist: Wendy Baggott (pictured) branded Umair Ghafoor a ‘terrorist’ in a drunken outburst on a train
A racist carer’s job hangs in the balance after she admitted unleashing a torrent of appalling abuse at a Muslim radiography student.
Wendy Baggott branded Umair Ghafoor a ‘terrorist’ and ‘petrol bomber’ in a drunken outburst on a train between York and Middlesbrough in July last year.
Witnesses also reported the 44-year-old saying ‘them coming over and taking our jobs and benefits’ and ‘thought they had stopped letting Syrians into the country’, a court heard.
Mr Ghafoor, a 22-year-old British Muslim of Pakistani heritage, was left feeling ’empty inside’ and even shaved his beard following the attack.
And Mr Ghafoor – who was born and raised on Teesside – revealed his devastation after no-one on the crowded train defended him.
He said: ‘The most disappointing point from this whole experience was that not one person helped me.
Devastated: British-born Umair Ghafoor (above) was left distraught when no-one on a packed train defended him against racist Wendy Baggott
‘Not one person acknowledged me in my time of need. The train was packed and all those people just sat and watched and did nothing at all.
‘Not one person stuck up for me. It was at this moment, I felt the lowest I’ve ever been.
‘To be racially abused for no reason and not one person said a word. Sitting through the abuse alone and having to deal with it by myself was an unforgettable experience.’
Care worker Baggott was part of a gang of intoxicated women who boarded a train at York on July 15 after celebrating a friend’s birthday.
Anne Mitchell, prosecuting at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, outlined Baggott’s catalogue of racial slurs.
When Mr Ghafoor boarded at Northallerton after a tiring shift at the Friarage Hospital, Baggott shouted: ‘The guy has got a bomb. I hope the guy hasn’t got a bomb.’
As he sat calmly behind the group, Baggott continued her abuse as she slurred: ‘Petrol bomber behind us’.
And when Teesside University student Mr Ghafoor, from Linthorpe, near Middlesbrough, got up to finally confront her, Baggott shouted: ‘It’s all gone black’.
Drunken Wendy Baggott, of Ormesby, near Middlesbrough, racially abused a Muslim student on a packed train
Mr Ghafoor said: ‘I was randomly verbally attacked by a woman who shouted disgusting racial comments towards me. The woman began by shouting that I had a bomb and that we should all be afraid.
‘I initially ignored the lady as she was drunk and I didn’t seem the need to lower myself as I assumed she’d just stop.
‘This was the tipping point where I couldn’t take any more.’
The ‘proud British citizen’ who was born and raised on Teesside, considers himself a ‘Western’ man who follows the latest fashion trends.
But he’s now shaved his ‘hipster’ beard to avoid provoking a repeat attack and even avoids public transport.
He said: ‘The reason for me not using the train is solely the result of this incident.
‘It’s left me questioning my real identity. It’s made me feel empty inside.
‘You always hear about these racial attacks, but you never actually think it’s going to happen to you.’
Paul Crocker, defending, said his client ‘completely took leave of her senses’ during the outburst.
He said: ‘My defendant is a mature lady who otherwise behaves in a proper, sober and responsible manner.
‘She doesn’t think she’s a racist person. She doesn’t know why she behaved in this way.
‘She doesn’t have particularly good recollection of the incident.’
He added: ‘It wasn’t her intention for the gentleman to be upset. She was so befuddled with alcohol that she wasn’t thinking at all.’
Increasing the fine category, Chairman of the Bench Alan Duckling said: ‘This sort of abuse is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by this court. Being drunk is not an excuse.’
Baggott, of Ryhill Walk, Ormesby, was ordered to pay £500 compensation, a £334 fine, £200 costs and a £33 victim surcharge.