Mum’s anger as autis­tic son told to leave store

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Tricia Jamieson tjamieson@thek­m­

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.”

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