England

Congleton woman charged for seizure shop breakages

Sandra Kirkham
Image caption Sandra Kirkham cut her foot when she had a seizure in the Mencap shop in Congleton

A woman was charged for items she broke in a charity shop while having an epileptic seizure.

Sandra Kirkham, 72, was in a Mencap shop in Congleton, Cheshire, on Monday when she fell into a display while having a seizure, cutting her foot.

As she was coming round, she was made to pay £17 for crockery that fell off the display, before being taken away in an ambulance.

Mencap said staff should not have asked for damages to be paid.

Mrs Kirkham, who has had epilepsy since she was a child, had been trying on sandals in the shop.

She said she didn't get the usual warnings she was going to have a seizure and collapsed into the glass display.

She added: "The gentleman did call an ambulance, because my foot was bleeding and there was blood all over the floor, but he was more interested in me paying for the goods than me having a fit.

"As I was coming round, all I could hear was: 'You've got to pay for the goods, I've got to charge you for the goods' and I was all flummoxed because I hadn't got a clue what had broke but I was just surrounded by glass."

'Wrong decision'

Glen Hall, head of retail at the learning disability charity Mencap, said it was "mortified" it had happened.

"This is not our policy and unfortunately a new member of staff who was temporarily in the shop on their own was unsure how to react and made the wrong decision.

"Our staff are conscious that every penny raised is important in helping the charity improve the lives of people with a learning disability, but this was clearly taken unacceptably too far on this occasion."

He said the charity are trying to contact Mrs Kirkham to apologise and reimburse her.

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