Racist vandals strike shop

Jazz Sandhar outside the post office after the graffiti attack. Picture by John Tuttiett Photography.
Jazz Sandhar outside the post office after the graffiti attack. Picture by John Tuttiett Photography.
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Vandals who spray-painted racist graffiti on the shutters of a Morpeth store have been branded vile, disgusting and ignorant.

The sickening attack happened sometime in the early hours of Sunday, when louts targeted the Stobhillgate Post Office, on Shields Road.

Graffiti at a shop in Stobhillgate, Morpeth. The most offensive words have been blurred.

Graffiti at a shop in Stobhillgate, Morpeth. The most offensive words have been blurred.

The outlet is run by the Sandhar family, who are of Indian heritage, and they have condemned the incident, expressing their utter shock and anger.

Jazz, 25, said: “My mother, Lucky, found the graffiti when she came in to open the shop on Sunday morning. It happened sometime between 2am and 6am. She was really annoyed when she found it.

“I didn’t arrive at the shop until later on that day and I was fuming when I saw it.”

The words ‘black’ and a racial slur were daubed on the shutters. Jazz said: “For a start, I am not black and I am not Pakistani. My heritage is from India but I was born in England, in Wolverhampton, and have lived in the North East for many years.”

The family moved into the premises in April 2014.

“This is the first time this sort of thing has happened and I am shocked and flabbergasted about it, but we are not intimidated by what has happened,” said Jazz, who runs the shop with his mother, as well as father Satnam and younger brother Jay.

The incident has been reported to Northumbria Police and Jazz says the family doesn’t know for sure who is responsible.

The attack has sparked a critical response from the community, with many people rushing to the family’s defence and criticising the culprits.

One local resident even took it upon himself to paint over the racist words on Sunday evening.

Jazz said: “I am really pleased with how much support we have received since the incident and I would like to thank everyone for their support.

“The support has come from right across Northumberland and we have received flowers and cards.

“We are also really grateful to the resident who covered up the graffiti.”

The shutters were only painted around six months ago and Jazz says the repair job will cost hundreds of pounds.

The incident has sparked a critical reaction on the Facebook page Morpeth Matters, with those responsible branded pathetic clowns and low-life scumbags.

Writing on the page, Brian Robson posted: “I think whoever thinks this is clever has the IQ of an oyster. This has brought shame on the people of Stobhill.”

Nicola Stewart added: “They are scum of the earth.”

Shelley-Louise Robson said: “This is absolutely abysmal behaviour, to think that some low-life scumbags would go to that extent to discriminate against innocent people embarrasses me to say I live in Stobhill. The culprit(s) should be caught and punished appropriately. Racism and vandalism are criminal offences, so hopefully they will be found and punished accordingly.”

Neighbourhood Police Inspector Richard Anderson said: “Inquiries into the incident are ongoing and we encourage anyone who may have information to help to contact police.

“We take racist incidents extremely seriously and would actively encourage anyone who suffers harassment, intimidation or any other racist crime to report it to police as soon as they can. All such incidents will be investigated thoroughly.”

Anyone with information to help is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 0427 11/10/15