British Muslim who refused to remove veil makes court U-turn
A British Muslim woman on trial for witness intimidation, who refused to give evidence after being told she would need to remove her veil, dramatically admitted to the crime on Thursday.
Rebekah Dawson, 22, had pleaded innocent to the charge, but changed her mind after jurors at London's Blackfriars Crown Court failed to reach a verdict despite 12 hours of deliberation.
Dawson, of Hackney, east London, admitted that she had intimidated security guard Daudi Yusuf at the Finsbury Park mosque several weeks after he became involved in an argument with her husband.
Yusuf is a witness in a separate trial involving Dawson's husband.
Judge Peter Murphy told Dawson in September that she would have to remove her niqab to let the 12-person jury see her face when giving evidence.
She argued it was against her religion, and declined to give evidence.
During his summing up, Murphy said: "This is not a ruling about religion. It is about the ability of the court to hear a fair trial."
© 2014 AFP