A Cambridgeshire man has claimed he was thrown out of Tesco by security for being overweight.
Matthew Brackley, 27, says he was ‘manhandled’ out of the supermarket by a security guard who verbally assaulted him.
He believes the only reason he was denied the ice cream and ordered to leave was because of his weight – as a slimmer shopper in the store at the time was not asked to leave.
Matthew said: “It’s disgraceful. It was about 33C and I had my t-shirt off. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s not a crime.
"I should be able to walk with my top off, there’s no law you can’t have your top off.
“I’ll admit I’m carrying a few extra pounds but that’s no reason to discriminate against me.
“I have problems with my body and weight and I overcame my fear [of walking around without a top on].
“I should be able to walk with my top off, there’s no law you can’t have your top off. All I wanted to do is get an ice cream on a hot day.”
Looking for ice cream
Looking for ice cream Matthew told how he was ‘minding his own business’ when he visited the Tesco Express store in Cambridge last week.
He claims the security guard walked over to him and began to shout “get out the shop” at him.
“At this point I didn’t know what I had done and I was confused. I asked him what I did wrong and couldn’t answer he just said can you leave the shop.
“It’s not as if I went in and jumped all over the food. I wanted an ice cream and was going right back out.”
Matthew says an altercation then ensued in which the security guard got spit on him as he was ordered to leave, after which he “gently” pushed him away.
However, there was at least one other topless shopper in the store at the time, who Matthew described as having “muscles and looked fit”.
Since the incident, Tesco has apologised to Matthew and offered him compensation.
“I am speaking out about this because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. It’s a matter of principle and people shouldn’t be treated differently over their weight.
“If this man works with the public, he needs to know how to behave appropriately around them.”
A spokesman for Tesco said: “We have fully investigated this incident with the guard’s employer TSS and have concluded that no further steps need to be taken.”