80-year-old Albert Carter, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, has been told he cannot enter any of the 1,200 Sainsbury's stores around the UK, and that if he tries to break the ban, store staff will call the police. And what was the crime, which was considered so serious that he has a national ban?
Carter accidentally drove his mobility scooter into a fellow shopper.
He said he was paying at the customer service desk, and as he turned his scooter to leave, he accidentally drove into a woman standing nearby. He then panicked and drove his scooter into the customer service kiosk.
He told the Metro that he took full blame for the accident, and added: "I understand that they might be concerned abut me coming into the shop after what happened, but I have never had an accident on it before so why would they ban me forever?"
He said that staff and paramedics at the time were very nice, and he only heard about the ban, when he received a letter, which said: "Should you enter any of our premises, you will be treated as a trespasser and the police will be called as necessary." Carter says he has barely left home since the accident on 7 March.
The supermarket confirmed the ban was in place, and told the Stoke Sentinel: "Our teams in store have a duty to consider the safety of all our customers and this decisions was reached after reviewing CCTV footage and other reports."
Are these scooters safe?
It is perfectly legal to drive mobility scooters in a supermarket, in fact most supermarkets have one or more scooters available to lend to shoppers who have difficulty getting around. At the moment, you don't need a licence to drive one, although when they are off the road, drivers are meant to stick to a speed limit of 4mph (the faster ones have a top speed of 8mph).
However, this accident is far from an isolated incident. We reported in October last year on the lorry driver whose arm was broken after he was knocked over by a mobility scooter in Tesco. In that instance, the person on the scooter did not stop after the accident.
The implications for the victims can be severe. In December, Eileen Hayes, aged 82, was knocked down in an Asda store by a mobility scooter that had been loaned to a customer. She was left with a broken leg and needing a hip operation. She spent almost a month in hospital, and still walks with a limp. She is launching legal action against Asda.
The implications for the scooter drivers can also be very serious. In 2013 a supermarket worker was awarded £6,000 compensation from a woman who accidentally drove into a flatbed trolley, which then crashed into the supermarket worker - injuring her knee. She was awarded just over £5,500 in compensation, and the driver also had to pay just over £7,000 in costs. She said she would have to sell her home to raise the money.
With these kinds of risks, the supermarket's decision to ban someone who has caused an accident may seem slightly less over-the-top. If he was to have another accident, and they were shown to have ignored the first one, they could face a legal headache.
But what do you think? Were they right to ban him? And should they allow mobility scooters in supermarkets at all? Let us know in the comments.
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