A mother who was breastfeeding her nine month old baby in Primark was shocked when a security guard snatched her daughter and marched off with the crying child.
The angry guard told Caroline Starmer, 28, to leave the store and, when she refused, he tore the crying infant away from the mum’s breast.
Ms Starmer, who also had another two-year-old daughter in a pushchair, claims the man stormed off with her baby Paige, telling the mother, “If you want your baby back, follow me”.
The mother-of-four chased after the man and managed to wrestle Paige back from out of his arms.
Speaking to the Express, she said:
I was completely shocked. One minute I was feeding Paige in a discreet area of the store and suddenly I was being challenged by a security guard and he was walking off with my baby. He said to me, ‘You can’t do that here, you will have to vacate the premises’.
When I tried to explain my daughter needed feeding and it was my right to breastfeed wherever I wanted he just ripped Paige off my breast. I was stunned, I didn’t know what to do. This stranger had hold of my daughter and was walking off with her screaming while I had my breast exposed and my other daughter in the pushchair.
When I regained my senses I sprinted after him and stood in front of him. I grabbed Paige off him and he just sneered at me and walked off. I was so shocked I left the store and went straight to the police station. I rang my husband who was at home with our other kids and he was fuming.
The shocking and “traumatic” incident happened at the Primark store in Leicester city centre on Monday.
Ms Starmer added:
Paige was going mad and the queues were huge. I’d gone in to get some clothes for the kids because we’re going on holiday next week. I found a small podium which held child sized mannequins, and decided to perch on the end of this to feed my daughter.
I was trying to be discreet and there weren’t many people around but for some reason this security guard took exception and felt the need to be a bully. He was so out of order, I’m pressing charges because this should never have been allowed to happen.
Primark yesterday confirmed they had launched a full investigation and were taking the claims “very seriously”.
A spokesman said:
We wish to make it absolutely clear that mothers are welcome to breastfeed in our stores. We are investigating this incident urgently, and take these claims very seriously.
However, the company refused to confirm whether the security guard was still working at the store.