A DISABLED six-year-old was left sobbing after she was made to leave Grosvenor Shopping Centre in Chester for using a scooter she needs to walk.
Daisy Pritchard suffered a stroke when she was just 20-months-old after heart bypass surgery, leaving her with extensive brain damage which affects her mobility.
Last Thursday (February 28) Daisy was being taken as a treat to Build-a-Bear by her mum after a painful procedure on her leg earlier that morning.
But instead of getting a new teddy to cuddle, Daisy, from Ruabon in Wrexham, was left sobbing after being asked to leave the shopping centre because she was using her scooter – which she needs to walk.
Speaking to The Chronicle Daisy’s outraged mum Eileen described how the unnamed security guard leaned past her and told her child to ‘get off [her scooter]’, leaving her in floods of tears.
“I told him to step away from my child, she is upset because she cannot walk,” said Eileen, who explained the scooter wasn’t an official mobility aid but had been recommended by a physiotherapist to give Daisy independence.
Eileen said as she tried to explain her daughter’s disabilities the guard said he was ‘just doing his job’.
“I am disgusted that he approached my child. She has been through more than most people could even imagine, and to treat her like that because she doesn’t look disabled is just disgusting.”
And when Eileen, who filmed the confrontation on her phone, asked to speak to someone in management the pair were escorted upstairs to an office, before being handed a sticker book.
“I just wanted an apology for my daughter. I didn’t get one. We were left out on the rooftop with no idea how to get back to the car,” said Eileen, who said the management tried to claim she had abandoned Daisy.
“They are implying I left my six-year-old child with disabilities alone in a precinct. I would never leave her, what are they trying to say about me?
“I know he was doing his job, but he shouldn’t approach a child.”
Daisy – who suffers from epilepsy, has had two open heart operations and suffered a stroke which left her unable to use the right hand side of her body – cannot move quickly on her scooter which her mum says has helped to ‘transform her life’.
“In all the years she has used the scooter we have never been stopped or questioned,” said Eileen, who was a finalist in a Tesco Mum of the Year competition and is an active campaigner to raise awareness of childhood strokes.
She posted the video on Facebook and was issued with a public apology from the Grosvenor Shopping Centre on the social networking site.
THE Grosvenor Shopping Centre has defended its staff saying mobility aids, apart from wheelchairs and Zimmer frames, are not allowed in the precinct.
A spokesman for the centre said: “Our fully trained security team is dedicated to our shoppers’ safety and in ensuring the centre’s pedestrian shopping environment is as safe as possible.
“Our policy guidelines stipulate that the only wheeled disability aids allowed in the centre are wheelchairs and Zimmer frames.
“In this isolated incident the disability aid in use was not recognised as an aid by our security staff initially as it is a popular children’s brand of play scooter.
“We are satisfied that the member of staff acted appropriately and apologise for any misunderstanding.”