Boy, 13, receives £3k payout from Tesco in Maida Vale race discrimination case

The boy was stopped in this Tesco branch in Maida Vale (Pic: Polly Hancock)

The boy was stopped in this Tesco branch in Maida Vale (Pic: Polly Hancock) - Credit: Archant

A schoolboy has received a £3,000 settlement from Tesco in a race discrimination case after he was stopped and searched in its store in Maida Vale.

The mixed-race boy, who lives in the area, was with a group of white friends when he was frogmarched into the back office by a worker at the shop in Clifton Road, in November 2013.

The 13-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he was not told why he had been stopped and a subsequent searched showed he and not stolen anything.

None of his friends were similarly searched and when he informed his mother she sent a number of letters to Tesco which were ignored.

This prompted her to contact the GMB union, of which she is a member, which started legal proceedings against Tesco claiming the boy has been a victim of racial discrimination.

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Last week Tesco settled out of court but did not accept liability.

The boy said: “The way they treated me was unacceptable and for a while left me constantly unnerved whenever I was in a store.

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“I think it is absolutely fantastic that we have been able to show them this is not acceptable and that they cannot get away with these kinds of actions anymore.”

Nick Webster, a solicitor from Leigh Day which was acting for the family, added: “It is unacceptable to treat somebody differently because of their race, and what was particularly concerning about this incident was the physical, high-handed manner of Tesco’s conduct.

“We doubt this is the only incident of this sort and hope this case will make them look at how they train their staff on equality and diversity, as well as giving those who have been subjected to this type of treatment the confidence to speak out.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “Everyone is welcome at Tesco so we take any allegations of this nature extremely seriously.

“As has already been disclosed, this person was stopped, as the colleague believed they had been shoplifting.

“We have agreed to settle the case with no admission of liability.”

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