Robert hurt by gravy accusations

Robert Marsden and his mum Andrea with the disputed tub of gravy granules
Robert Marsden and his mum Andrea with the disputed tub of gravy granules

A 12-year-old dyslexic was left in tears after he was wrongly accused of stealing a tub of gravy.

Robert Marsden was out shopping with his mum when he was stopped by supermarket staff.

Bosses were quick say sorry for the mix-up but Robert’s furious mum Andrea is angry the staff member who first accused her son did not offer a personal apology.

Andrea, of Cartmell Avenue, Windle, said: “This would have been a really upsetting experience for anyone, but especially so for Robert because of his autism.

“He was in tears. There were people surrounding him, an alarm going off. It was terrifying.”

The incident occurred at the Iceland store at the Ravenhead Retail Park on Thursday (January 20) while Robert and his mum were out doing their weekly shop.

Mrs Marden added: “We were going up and down the aisles and I realised that I’d forgotten to pick up the gravy so I asked Robert to go back to get some.

“On his way to back to me he has gone past the exit door. They are automatic doors and are so sensitive that even though he was near them they flew open.

“It all happened really suddenly and it made Robert jump. I think that’s what caught the checkout girl’s eye and she has sounded the alarm.”

Mrs Marsden, who witnessed the incident from further down the aisle, went on: “By the time I got down to Robert there was plenty of staff there. It was embarrassing for him and although the shop manager couldn’t apologise enough I’m still angry about what happened.

“They just jumped to conclusions. It’s not as if he was trying to make for the door. He jumped back away from the door when it opened, that’s not the actions of a theft.

“He did what he did because he was scared.”

A spokeswoman for Iceland was unavailable for comment.