Yob tried to set his dog on a Muslim woman in a racially aggravated attack in Sunderland park

A Valium-using yob tried to turn his dog on a Muslim woman during a racist or religiously aggravated Remembrance Day attack.

Foul-mouthed Louis Whelan, 22, shouted, “Where’s your f******poppy” as she strolled with a friend and her child through a Sunderland park.

He followed up with more verbal abuse, stating, “F****** Muslim, get out” – and letting his greyhound off its lead and urging it towards her.

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The dog did approach the group at Barnes Park Extension – and it proved more friendly than jobless Whelan, of Saltburn Road, also Barnes Park.

Prosecutor Rob Lawson said the pooch sauntered over – and then strolled away without incident at 9.30am on Sunday, November 11.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Whelan walked off when the woman began calling police – and he could not recall the incident because of his drug taking.

A Probation Service report read to the court said Whelan’s father had died when he was a child and he had spent time in care.

It found he consistently blamed other people for his problems, and said he needed to undergo support work around his views on ethnicity and religion.

And it added: “He’s a troubled young man. Drugs are a factor for him.”

The court heard Whelan had a history of violent offending.

Alaister Naismith, defending, said: “The incident was sparked by an argument about poppy wearing rather than the lady being a Muslim. That came later.”

Whelan pleaded guilty to a charge of racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

Magistrates sentenced him to an 18-month community order, with a requirement of 19 sessions of the Thinking Skills programme.

He must also complete 25 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service and pay his victim £100 compensation.

And he was fined £80, with a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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Chronicle Live – Sunderland