A man has been handed down a suspended sentence of five months in jail for tearing off a woman's niqab. The Nantes court in western France found him guilty of religious violence.

The man will also have to pay damages to the woman, who took three days off work to recover from the brutality of the incident. The woman was treated for shock.

The thirty-year-old said that he was trying to enforce the anti-burqa law of October 20, 2010, which prohibits hiding one's face in public places. Niqabs cover the entire face of a woman except for her eyes.

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