From the Daily Gazette
TRAVELLERS have been banned from shopping in the supermarket where they have illegally made camp.
The three caravans pitched up at Sainsbury’s Tollgate store, in Stanway, after being moved by bailiffs from private land in Severalls Lane, Colchester, at the weekend.
One of the Travellers, Henry Loveridge, 48, said some of them had been ordered out of the supermarket by security staff when they went in to buy a can of soft drink.
He added: “We spoke to the man in charge and he said, ‘we don’t want you in the shop no more’.
“We are not allowed to use the shop because we are on their land.”
Mr Loveridge also claimed staff has used offensive language when they told the travellers to leave the shop – something the company has strongly denied.
He said Sainsbury’s staff told them the Traveller families were banned because of an incident the previous day.
Mr Loveridge, who has a permanent pitch in Surrey, added: “We did not cause any incidents.
“I told him it was racist and prejudiced against Travellers.
“I was surprised. They’re not allowed to do that. They wouldn’t be allowed to ban black people or foreigners. We can go and spend our money anywhere. It’s just as good as anyone else’s.”
After being ordered out, the Travellers called the police to complain about their treatment – but were told officers could do nothing, since the store was private property.
Mr Loveridge claimed the store manager had warned them not to enter the store when they tried to come in, but the families ignored the request as they wanted to buy food and clothes.
He added: “I have never had this before. I won’t spend any money in there now.”
A Sainsbury’s spokesman strongly denied any of its staff had insulted or racially abused any of the Travellers.
A spokesman said: “After receiving complaints about noise from our neighbours and a local councillor, we asked the Travellers to leave our car park.
“Our bailiffs have now served notice and they are due to leave on Wednesday. As they have not vacated the car park, they are not welcome to shop in the store.
“They have been informed of this and have been asked to leave the store.”