Jeannot Attard, a 32-year-old Maltese man currently living in London, has been banned from ever shopping anywhere in the Canary Wharf Estate, and it’s all because of a £2 packet of Tesco bacon ribs.
While shopping, Attard was stopped by Tesco Metro staff and told he hadn’t scanned one particular packet of bacon ribs. Apologising for being distracted between meetings during lunch hour, Attard offered to pay for the item after realising his quick mistake. The store manager, however, called in private security guards… who ended up issuing a notice banning Attard from entering the shopping centre, and any business all over the estate, for the next six months. Here’s the official ban:
“You are banned from entering the Canary Wharf Estate/Retail Complex for the duration of six months.
You are further advised that should you enter the designated area during the period of the ban, you will be considered a trespasser and staff have been authorised to escort you from the estate.
In addition, steps will be taken to exclude you from the Canary Wharf Estate for a longer period.”
Attard’s story quickly made the news on the likes of The Sun and The Daily Mail over this week, as the apparent over-reaction shocked many people. “It was an honest mistake but they made me feel like a common criminal,” Attard told the Evening Standard. “I felt useless and like I had no rights.”
After the Evening Standard reached out to the group of companies, Canary Wharf Group (which controls the 97-acrre estate) informed Attard that the total ban was suspended, and a Tesco spokesperson has now offered him a meeting “to discuss the matter further”.
Before this latest update to the ban, Attard couldn’t even visit his dentist. He had said, “I want common sense to prevail. I cannot say no to client meetings and I can’t just say, ‘I’m banned from Canary Wharf’.”
Jeannot Attard has lived anywhere from France to Russia, and his current work sees him protecting the intellectual property of blue-chip clients on the internet, and involves regular meetings in Canary Wharf. Under the original ban, he couldn’t even visit restaurants for meetings.
Yesterday, all his colleagues boycotted Tesco until the band was lifted. That’s quite a lot of hassle over £2 bacon ribs.