Mum’s anger as autistic son told to leave store
A MOTHER has criticised electrical giant Comet for throwing her autistic son out of its Ashford store and leaving him in the car park.
Julie Nisbet was shopping with son Angus, 12, when she briefly left him playing on a games console while she went to look at kettles.
But a store manager believed Angus to be on his own – which is against Comet policy for children – and asked him to leave.
“I was frantic when I could not find him,” said Mrs Nisbet, 48, of Hythe.
“I eventually found him alone crying in the car park. He said a man had thrown him out of the store.”
“Other parents should be aware of this,” she said.
“They made no attempt to find me and afterwards would not even look at their CCTV which would have shown me just two aisles away from Angus.”
As he is autistic, Angus, who goes to Ashford’s Norton Knatchbull School, qualified for a government grant to buy a home computer which could be exchanged in Comet so Mrs Nisbet took him to the Orbital Park store to chose one.
“I was only away for about four minutes but when I went back he had gone.
“He said a man had asked him to leave because he was unaccompanied when he wasn’t, because I was with him.”
Mrs Nisbet said Angus may not have understood what the manager said to him when asked if he was on his own.
A Comet spokesman said: “The store manager saw the child, in school uniform, walking in and out of the store on several occasions.
“He was concerned that the child appeared to be on his own and approached him to ask if this was the case.
“The child confirmed he was by himself and therefore the store manager politely asked him to leave.
“We were unaware that the child’s mother was in the store and we apologise if any distress was caused by the misunderstanding.”