And the plaintiffs are members of a group that has a long history of spuriously claiming victim status. “The celebrity photographer and an ‘assault in Tesco on hijab-wearing Muslim she called a terrorist,'” by Sam Greenhill and Rosie Taylor in the Daily Mail, July 4 (thanks to Twostellas):
A portrait photographer to the stars shoved a pregnant Muslim woman to the floor and called her a terrorist during a row in Tesco, a court heard yesterday.
Cinnamon Heathcote-Drury also branded the hijab-wearing woman’s family suicide bombers, it was alleged.
The 41-year-old, who has 11 portraits hanging in the National Portrait Gallery including exhibits of London mayor Boris Johnson and Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman, denies racially-aggravated assault.
She told a jury at Isleworth Crown Court that trouble began at the Tesco store in Kensington, West London, when she offered to help the woman, Mounia Hamoumi, and her husband unload their shopping trolley.
The court was told she had overheard the husband refusing to help his wife because he was too busy looking after their children.
“˜I told him that is what feminism is all about, women helping women — and he told me to “get lost”,” claimed Heathcote-Drury.
But prosecutor Nermine Abdel Sayed said: “˜You took objection to that inequality didn’t you? Coupled with the woman wearing Islamic dress, you waded in and instigated the whole incident.
“˜When your offer of help was rejected you became more confrontational and you very quickly lost control and were shouting at them.
“˜Your tone was aggressive and you used the words “suicide bomber” and “terrorist”, and told them: “I am a British citizen. I don’t know where you are from.”
“˜You went to the woman and pushed her.”
Mother-of-three Mrs Hamoumi was six months” pregnant at the time of the incident which happened on November 30 last year.
Heathcote-Drury is also accused of telling the family: “˜You”re probably claiming jobseeker’s [allowance].” She denied this and using any racist language, and said she was the true victim.
The photographer, whose portrait subjects also include actor Terence Stamp and ministers Kenneth Clarke and Iain Duncan Smith, told the court: “˜Many of those words were made up, they have misheard it for their purpose.”
With tears in her eyes, she said: “˜I am the only one who was assaulted. I am the only one with injuries.” Heathcote-Drury made an assault complaint to police, claiming she was tripped, kicked and punched by Mrs Hamoumi, but this was not pursued by the investigating officers.
The prosecutor suggested: “˜You played the victim in order to get out of trouble, trying to direct attention on to them and away from you.”
A security guard broke up the row, but Heathcote-Drury is accused of then approaching Mrs Hamoumi and pushing her to the floor.
When arrested at the store, Heathcote-Drury is said to have proclaimed: “˜Unbelievable”, and told officers: “˜This is absolutely incorrect. I was the one who was verbally abused then assaulted.” Giving her version of events to the jury, she said: “˜I said we live in a society in Great Britain where rights are equal and if you need help you can ask for it and she said: “Mind your own business.”
“˜The husband came over and said: “You **** off”, then came over again and I thought he was going to jab me with something in his hand.”
She claimed she was tripped by the woman as she tried to get away from the row, saying: “˜I stumbled very badly forward and I felt a shooting pain in my left shin. The woman was looking at me and smiling. She had wished me to fall flat on my face to humiliate me.
“˜She took a step forward and took a swipe at my head with her right fist and got me on my right cheek.” Heathcote-Drury, of West Kensington, has pleaded not guilty to racially aggravated assault.
The trial continues.