Lidl Staff Called Police After Couple Tried To Buy Rhubarb Gin With Their Kids

Remember waiting patiently in the supermarket queue as a teenager, pleading with your mum and dad to buy you some booze?

'Go on, just a Smirnoff Ice. Or a blue WKD. PLEASE.' They probably cost less than a fiver, you reasoned, hoping they'd overlook the fact that - in the eyes of the law - you were definitely too young to drink the stuff, which is why your desperate pleas almost certainly fell on deaf ears.

But what teenager asks for something as relatively sophisticated rhubarb gin? It's a question Jackie Chandler, 41, and husband Gary Sprake, 43, found themselves asking after they were left gobsmacked when a Lidl cashier asked for their teenage daughter's ID.

Credit: Solent News
Credit: Solent News

The baffled couple - who told the cashier they 'would never let her [their daughter] sip alcohol' -became more shocked when the store manager then called the police to escort them from the shop.

Gary even tried to buy the £11.99 ($15.70) Hortus rhubarb and ginger gin liqueur (great choice, btw) on his own but was again refused by staff citing the ID policy.

According to the Sun, the couple had been shopping at Lidl in Waterlooville, Hampshire, with 14-year-old Ella-May and 11-year-old Rosa-May and picked up a bottle of the gin as they were later visiting a friend's house for a drinks party.

Credit: Solent News
Credit: Solent News

The pair, who both work in retail, told the cashier they wouldn't let their daughter drink alcohol but were met with the reply: "It doesn't make any difference, she has to have ID as well."

A manager was then called to deal with the situation and when he backed the cashier, Mr Sprake then attempted to phone Lidl's head office - because gin is worth interrupting anyone's day for. Yes, even the Queen.

The family were left bemused when the manager then asked them to leave the store before phoning the police.

Jackie said: "We were shocked when the cashier asked because we thought he was talking about us. But when we found out he meant our daughter, I thought, 'He cannot be serious.'

"There is no way we would let her take a sip of alcohol, let alone buy a bottle."

Sisters Rosa-May, left, and Ella-May. Credit: Solent News
Sisters Rosa-May, left, and Ella-May. Credit: Solent News

Gary said he and his wife were 'victims of stupidity'. He said: "Lidl should be ashamed of themselves. I wonder where the line on this policy is drawn. If I had a four-year-old, would I not be able to get a drink?

"And if I do go back to that store, which is unlikely, will I not be able to buy alcohol because they know I have a daughter? The whole thing is ridiculous."

During the kerfuffle, another customer who was annoyed with the hold up even threatened to arrest them. Well, good luck with that one, mate.

Jackie said: "There was already a wait to get to the till so people weren't happy. A couple of other shoppers were telling us to move on and one even offered to make a citizen's arrest on us.

"The police officer I spoke to couldn't believe he'd been called out - we weren't doing anything wrong. We joked because it must've been his easiest job of the day."

After leaving the store without their shopping (devoed), Jackie says she will not return as she is 'too embarrassed' and her children are 'worried as they feel like they did something wrong'.

A Lidl spokesman defended the store's ID policy, saying: "It is never our intention for a customer to be dissatisfied in any way, however we are committed to selling alcohol responsibly.

"Whilst these actions may appear over-cautious, we support our colleagues in using their own judgement to uphold our 'Think 25' policy and, where there is any element of doubt, making the right decision. Under no circumstances do we tolerate abusive behaviour towards our colleagues."

Hampshire Constabulary confirmed they were called to the 'ongoing dispute' at the Lidl store.

Featured Image Credit: Solent News

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd is a Journalist at LADbible. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class BA in Journalism. Becky previously worked as Chief Reporter at Cavendish Press, supplying news and feature stories to national newspapers and women's magazines.

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