The independent London newspaper

Finsbury Park Poundland attack: ‘Staff did nothing to help abused disabled woman’

10 November, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Katharine Quarmby

A BARGAIN chain store has come under fire after one shopper witnessed a disabled woman get attacked while staff did nothing to help.

Journalist Katharine Quarmby was in Poundland in Finsbury Park last Friday when she saw a mother with a pushchair shouting abuse at a disabled woman.

“I think there was an argument about who was first in the queue for the till,” said Ms Quarmby. “The mum started abusing the woman and told her to lose weight and saying stuff which was unacceptable. It culminated in the woman having to say ‘please stop I’m disabled’. She had a catheter attached to the shopping trolley.”

Ms Quarmby, who works pro bono at the rights charity Disability Hate Crime Network, said she tried to help the disabled woman by asking the security guard to intervene

“There was no manager in the store and the shop worker just gave me the phone number for head office to complain,” she said, adding: “It was pretty shocking to see. I appreciate that people might be quite badly paid in those jobs but it’s part of everyone’s job to protect each other and that didn’t happen in that particular store.”

The abused woman was left shaken, according to Ms Quarmby.

A Poundland spokeswoman said: “We obviously want all our shoppers to have a positive experience and to treat each other with respect. We’re looking into what happened.”

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