Couple banned for life from shopping centre and branded ‘terrorists’ – for taking photos of their grandchildren

January 3, 2008

Last updated at 17:57pm on 2nd January 2008
A couple were banned for life from a shopping centre – because they were taking photos of their beloved grandchildren.
Kim and Trevor Sparshott were ordered to stop taking photos because they were causing a security threat.

They were thrown out of the centre after they took out a camera to snap the look on the youngsters’ faces when they turned up unexpectedly.

The couple were on a four-day break from their home in Spain and wanted to surprise their family by arriving at the centre, in Fareham, Hants, while they were shopping.But when they went to take a photo, a security guard pounced and ordered them out.

The guard then insisted that cameras were banned because of the risk of a terrorist attack – and barred the bemused couple for life.

Speaking from her home in Malaga, Spain, Mrs Sparshott, 51, said: “I couldn’t believe it. I was so shocked.

“He said we had committed an act of terrorism.

“At first I wanted the ground to swallow me up whole because it was so embarassing – but then I got really angry.”

Mr Sparshott, 52, added: “Instead of being a nice surprise for our family it turned into a nightmare. I was furious.

“In these worrying times we understand the need for caution, but surely a quiet word when he first saw us would have stopped all this unpleasantness.”

The couple, who had been visiting their daughter, who lives in Gosport, Hants, with her husband and children, returned to Spain in shock.

They wrote a letter of complaint to the centre, and received a reply from manager Pam Gillard who said taking photos was a security risk.

In the reply to the Sparshotts, Ms Gillard said: “By the sounds of it my officers/duty manager didn’t explain the position very clearly and for that I apologise.”

Speaking after the incident, she added: “Fareham Shopping Centre is private property and has a policy to support the security of the shops, where the taking of photographs needs prior permission.

“The Sparshotts are welcome back to the centre.”

Ms Gillard refused to comment further on the centre’s security policies, but added that the camera ban was not because of a terrorist threat.

The situation has amazed civil rights campaigners, who say the centre’s reaction was ‘completely over the top’.

Roger Smith, director of civil liberties group Justice, said: “The key is proportionality – it is quite reasonable to have restrictions on what people can do, but this is just daft.

“It seems completely over the top.”

One Response to “Couple banned for life from shopping centre and branded ‘terrorists’ – for taking photos of their grandchildren”

  1. ppaaoollaa said


    A distanza di tanti anni non siamo ancora riusciti a trovare una valida ragione dei bombardamenti inglesi su Milano, e continuiamo a vedere bombardamenti inglesi sui civili in ogni parte del mondo. Si tratta di un complotto globale.

    Fra il 12 e il 16 Agosto 1943 la RAF con incursioni di centinaia di aerei ogni notte sganciò oltre 5000 tonnellate di bombe esplosive e 500 mila bombe incendiarie cercando di radere al suolo Milano come fecero in Germania con Dresda provocando fra i 20 e i 100 mila morti.

    l’intenzione era di eliminare almeno 20 mila milanesi, forse 50-100 mila. La missione ricevuta dalla RAF era precisa identica spiaccicata a quella di Dresda, forse peggiore, la quantità di bombe sganciate su Milano fu superiore. I morti a Dresda furono almeno 115 mila.



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