Prosecutors in the United Kingdom accused a man of conducting a xenophobic and murderous attack last September when he drove his Volkswagen into a Somali national and then attempted to hit a 12-year-old girl in Leicester.
Five days after the Parsons Green attack, in which a bomb exploded in the London Underground station, wounding 30 people, Paul Moore allegedly took to his car seeking vengeance. Prosecutors claim that Moore’s attack was a religiously and racially motivated response to the London Underground attack.
Prosecutors additionally charged Moore with attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, dangerous driving, and driving above the legal alcohol limit, all of which he denied.
Moore, 21, admitted to driving the car but denied the allegations, according to BBC.
Moore hit Zaynab Hussein, who was wearing a hijab, before running her over and turning his car toward the young girl, who he brushed with the car but did not seriously injure.
Prosecutors said Moore focused on Hussein because of her physical characteristic.
“He did not know her. He tried to kill her purely because of the color of her skin and because of her perceived Islamic faith as she was wearing a hijab.”
In a recorded interview played in court, a passenger recounted the experience.
"He was just driving like a maniac," the witness said. "I thought we were going to be dead. He said 'I feel like running someone over. Anyone.'”
The witness said Moore laughed as he targeted Hussein.
The court heard Hussein’s prior description of the attack, in which she said the force of the car threw her into a wall, and she noticed blood leaking from her head.
She suffered pelvic and spinal fractures and broken leg bones in the attack, and despite months of medical care, she cannot leave her bed.
"I remember shouting for help, but nobody was around," she said. I tried to get up, but could not. I didn't have any feeling in my right arm, and I thought it might have been broken.”
Events following terror attacks in the UK have displayed a troubling pattern. After the murderous Manchester attack, hate crimes rose 500 percent. The country is grappling with the nationalist sentiments that factored into the decision to leave the European Union, and this xenophobic attitude is demonstrating itself in heinous and violent ways.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters