Girl pulls out of modelling pageant after racial assault
A LLANELLI girl has pulled out of an international modelling pageant after suffering a racist assault on a train.
Nadia Suliman, 20, of Bryn, was due to compete in the Miss Cymru International event later this month.
But the law student — whose mother is Welsh and father is Kurdish — says her confidence has been knocked following the incident and she felt compelled to pull out.
Robert John Cruickshank, 63, of Olive Street, Llanelli, was convicted of a racially aggravated assault by beating against Miss Suliman by Swansea magistrates last week.
She said the incident, which occurred on a train between Bridgend and Llanelli in June last year has had a huge impact on her life.
"I was gutted with pulling out, but I couldn't concentrate on both the court case and the beauty competition, so I had to leave one of them," Nadia said.
"It was not so much the assault that made me suffer, it was the racial comments that really upset me."
"I will try to enter another beauty competition in the future," she added. "But at the moment it has affected me so much I just don't have the will."
The former St John Lloyd School pupil said she also had to leave a job she enjoyed because of her ordeal.
She said: "I used to use the train all the time because I worked at a clothes shop in Cardiff and it was the only way to get to work.After the incident I just couldn't go back to work, so I had to quit my job.
"I was very upset to leave because I had been there for a year and a half and loved it."
Miss Suliman said she also regularly used the train to Bristol, where she is studying for a law degree, but had to rely on her father to drive her as she was frightened to travel alone.
Cruickshank, who had pleaded not guilty to the offence, was fined £250, and ordered to pay £100 compensation, £250 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.