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May 13, 2010

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Tesco guard accused, assaulted us: couple

A COUPLE asked for more than 100,000 yuan (US$14,640) in compensation for mental anguish in an appeal hearing yesterday, complaining that they were mistaken for thieves in a big supermarket and assaulted by a security guard.

Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court heard the appeal lodged by the couple, who said they should have been awarded the money in an earlier trial because the guard's actions caused the wife to have a heart attack, the husband to lose full use of a hand, and both of them to lose some of their eyesight.

No final verdict was made.

In the trial of the first instance, Fengxian District People's Court awarded the couple about 5,400 yuan in compensation for medical costs from Tesco's Fengxian outlet.

But it rejected compensation for mental anguish, saying the couple weren't so seriously injured.

The couple, Chen Qin and Chen Guohua, went to the market on June 29, 2008. After paying for their purchases, they went to the after-sale service area to look for paper boxes to pack the things they bought.

The shop assistant said paper boxes had been used up and asked them to look for paper boxes in the shopping area. Chen Guohua, the husband, did just that, going into the retail area and finding some boxes near the wine shelves.

When he picked the boxes up, a security guard took him as a thief and slugged him on the head and chest.

The husband shouted for help.

"I was very anxious because my husband had just recovered from a serious traffic accident. He couldn't bear such an assault any more," said Chen Qin, who rushed in.

The wife tried to stop the security guard but got hit in the eyes and head. As a result, the plaintiffs said, she suffered from a heart attack.

While police investigated the dispute, the security guard surnamed Qian died in a traffic accident.

Since the supermarket refused to offer surveillance tape, the court believed the couple were assaulted by the security guard.


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