Marks and Spencer security guard leaves mum battling stage four cancer ‘shaken’

A mum battling stage four cancer claims she was followed and stopped outside by a Marks and Spencer security guard who grabbed her bag and demanded she open it. Claudia Manchanda was coming from the hospital after doing a Covid swab ahead of her radiotherapy session, when she entered the Hampstead supermarket to buy a snack. The 50-year-old claims that as she was about to leave the shop a security guard set off the alarm in order to stop her.

READ MORE : Boy, 15, who joined ‘wrong crowd’ when mum died got out for sake of his little sister After a tense exchange where Claudia alleges the male guard confronted her, she told the man not to “hurt” her because she had cancer. But as the mum-of-one left the store, and was crossing the road outside the shop, she claims that the guard followed her and suddenly grabbed her bag from behind, ordering her to open it.

In a video taken by Claudia, the guard can be heard telling her “If I see you coming in there, I will drive you out before you call the police”, after following her outside the shop.

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Claudia said: “I had just come from the radiotherapy department because I have cancer. I’m starting radiotherapy. “I had to go and get my Covid swab and I was feeling a bit down and I went in to see if they had organic hummous.

“I just walked out and the guy shouted to me, ‘who goes into a shop and doesn’t buy anything?’ “I looked at him, then I said, ‘I did, because I walked into a shop and they didn’t have what I wanted’ “I was like, ‘what are you doing?

You’re shouting at me’ Claudia claims she told the guard of her medical condition during the confrontation. The Londoner said: “I felt like I was going to cry and I said, ‘I don’t need this, I’ve got cancer, I’m having treatment’.

Claudia was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and the invisible disease has spread to her bones and lungs

“What really worried me was that if I didn’t say I’ve got cancer, I think he would have grappled me and hurt me and it was just my gut to say it because I know my body is fragile.

“So if he threw me on the floor and did something probably would break bones, so I just kept saying [don’t hurt me], it’s all I knew to say like, ‘I’m vulnerable, dont hurt me’. She went on to allege, “And he said ‘what’s cancer got to do with it? If you didn’t have it I would hurt you”.

Claudia walked away from the store and headed to go meet her friends at the nearby train station. But as she was making her way, the 50-year-old who suffers from bone metastasis as a result of her cancer spreading, claims that the guard “pulled” her bag from behind. The Londoner said: “I was crossing the zebra crossing and he pulled my bag.

“He tugged it really hard and my instinct was to tug it back because it was from behind, and I didn’t even clock it was him immediately, and then he was like open your bag now”.

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Marks and Spencer security guard leaves mum battling stage four cancer 'shaken'

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And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here. Claudia refused to open her bag and told the man to call the police as she says she didn’t feel safe.

She said: “I was like, ‘no, if you want me to open my bag you have to call the police, we’re on the street, we’re not in the shop and I don’t feel safe you have to call the police’ “I felt violated, I think it’s the physicality of it that upset me the most that he actually pulled my bag. “That’s what upset me and I felt like there was something like if I was a guy he wouldn’t have done it”.

The guard continued to follow her to a bakery 10 minutes from the shop, where she says he “blocked” her from leaving. The Londoner said: “I put my bag down and he was just standing just kind of blocking me. “I rang my friends who were waiting at the station.

“They arrived really quickly and said she’ll open her bag if the police come. “I wanted witnesses so I called them”.

Marks and Spencer security guard leaves mum battling stage four cancer 'shaken'Claudia had just left a doctors appointment in preparation for her radiotherapy treatments

The 50-year-old claims that the guard attempted to pull her bag once more. She said: “He tried to pull the bag again and I pulled it back which probably is bad for my body because I’ve had bone metastasis, so it’s really not good tugging a bag off someone”.

Eventually the guard walked away and Claudia felt shaken by the ordeal. Claudia said: “I felt shaken, I felt quite shaken. “I just thought he had no right to demand to look at my stuff in the street, after doing that to me it was just scary.

“So I just thought, ‘I’m not opening it, this is a cruel way to treat someone’. “I felt very confused about what my rights are and I realised I didn’t know what my rights are. “I don’t know if you’re stopped on the street by someone, let’s say you went into a shop and you didn’t see the security guard and then someone says, ‘I want to look in your bag’, can you say no?

“What’s the law, what’s the jurisdiction of a security guard?”

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Marks and Spencer security guard leaves mum battling stage four cancer 'shaken'

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Find out more here. My London asked Marks and Spencer what the policy is on approaching those suspected of stealing, outside of their store but they did not respond directly to our request. Claudia spent the day trying to get a hold of the complaints department at Marks and Spencer when she says she should have been preparing for her radiotherapy.

She said: “I’m meant to be doing other things to prepare for radiotherapy and I’m meant to be buying supplements to help me get through that, and I just felt like I went into a shock state and that’s not nice. The mum told her daughter Yami what had happened, who then visited the store to get answers.

Marks and Spencer security guard leaves mum battling stage four cancer 'shaken'Claudia’s daughter Yami, 28 decided to go to the store to get answers

Yami said: “I’m honestly furious as soon as she told me I wanted to go back to the store because I was raging. I was very upset from the beginning.

The mum and daughter believe that the alarm was set off intentionally and Yami, 28, claims she witnessed the guard triggering the alarm himself in the store. MyLondon asked Marks and Spencer whether guards could trigger off alarms themselves but they did not respond directly to our request. Yami said: “You can’t yank someone from behind, she has cancer in her bones so even a small pressure can break her bones.

“I’m honestly shocked because it’s a hidden disability with cancer, you can’t tell. “You have to take care especially when you’re doing that role, because grabbing someone you can say, ‘excuse me please, we need to get you back to the store’. “She’ll probably never want to go back there again”

“I honestly wish it happened to me instead.

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Marks and Spencer security guard leaves mum battling stage four cancer 'shaken'

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An M&S spokesperson said: “We take allegations like this very seriously and we are working with our security guarding company MITIE to investigate what has happened. “Our customer service team is in contact with Ms Manchanda.”

Claudia confirmed that the store had been in touch but stated that they could not provide information on how the matter would be handled.

The 50-year-old said she felt more concerned about their policy and MyLondon asked them what their policy is but they did not respond directly to our requests.

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