‘We’re not racists,’ say family of Muslim who spat on baby

Tarik Abdulla.
Tarik Abdulla.

A Muslim man says he wants to clear his family’s name 
after his brother was 
convicted of a racially motivated spitting attack on a baby.

Tarik Abdulla says he has been scared to leave his home after his mentally-ill brother Rezzas Abdulla was convicted of racially aggravated common assault after spitting in a nine-month-old baby’s face while she was being pushed in her pram.

Mr Abdulla insists his family are not racists and have suffered abuse and threats since the case.

At Newcastle Crown Court last week, Mr Recorder Darren Preston told 33-year-old Rezzas Abdulla, of Imeary Street, South Shields, that he seemed to have a ‘problem with white women’ before handing him an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months – with habilitation and mental health treatment requirements.

Tarik Abdulla, 32, says his family has since been subjected to abuse and are afraid to go outside their South Shields home after the hearing.

The full-time carer for his mum says his elder brother has a type of schizophrenia and is not ‘a well man’.

He said: “Rezzas is mentally unwell. He has a lot of problems. He’s now on medication and not a well man.

“This has been going on for 10 years but, in the last two, his condition has got a lot worse. I just want people to know that my family is not racist. We were born and bred here. So was our mother.

“Our father and grandfather were in the Merchant Navy. Our family has links to South Shields that go back more than 100 years and I am proud to have been be raised here.”

He added: “Half of our family is white, including my long-term partner. For people to be thinking that we have some kind of issue with white people is just heartbreaking.

“Since Razzas’s case I’ve been subjected to abuse and I don’t want to go outside in fear of what might happen.”

Mr Abdulla says his brother is now receiving weekly care.

The former King George Comprehensive School pupil added: “I felt I just has to speak out, because we’re a good honest family and I needed to do something to clear our name.”