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Norwich grandmother “humiliated” in Tesco for being Scottish in mistaken identity saga

PUBLISHED: 05:30 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:58 10 August 2018

Aileen Mackellar with her granddaughters Ava and Mollie. Picture: Ashleigh Smith

Aileen Mackellar with her granddaughters Ava and Mollie. Picture: Ashleigh Smith

Ashleigh Smith

A grandmother from Norwich has described her humiliation after she was reprimanded by members of staff in a Tesco store, having been mistaken for another banned customer with a similar Scottish accent.

Aileen Mackellar was told she was banned from Tesco after a case of mistaken identity. Picture: Ashleigh SmithAileen Mackellar was told she was banned from Tesco after a case of mistaken identity. Picture: Ashleigh Smith

Aileen Mackellar was shopping in the Tesco Express store on Wroxham Road on July 31, when she was told by two members of staff that she was banned for swearing at staff a month before.

Mrs Mackeller, who lives in Little Plumstead, asked the staff why they believed her to be someone else, to which they reportedly replied: “Because you’re Scottish.”

The 65-year-old said: “I was so humiliated. They called over other assistants and there were other shoppers all around me as they stood there smirking and telling me I was banned.”

Mrs Mackellar, who works as a chiropodist, said: “I can’t sleep, I’ve had to cancel appointments at work because I can’t face it.

The Tesco Express store on Wroxham Road. Picture: GoogleMapsThe Tesco Express store on Wroxham Road. Picture: GoogleMaps

“They abused me because of my nationality, because I’m a Scottish woman. I just can’t believe it. Am I supposed to take the blame for everything a Scottish woman does wrong in a shop?”

She added: “They didn’t even take me to one side, they said to me they’d serve me this time but never again.

“I tried to be calm as I had to stand there and defend myself, but now I want to confront them now for what they did to me.”

Mrs Mackellar said: “I had an accident 40 years ago which had a massive impact on me and I’ve only just got to the place I’m in now, but they’ve just knocked me right back.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are sorry for the experience Ms MacKellar had visiting our Wroxham Road Express. Our store manager has called to apologise directly and we would be delighted to welcome her back to store.”

They confirmed that this was a case of mistaken identity, and that Ms MacKellar was not banned from the store.

Ms Mackellar’s daughter Ashleigh Smith, 39, said: “This is a woman who has never done anything wrong in her life, and to be treated like that is just awful.”

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