Grandma claims Portsmouth garage boss smashed her windscreen

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A PETROL station manager smashed a grandmother’s windscreen in a dispute over change.

Joanne Smith stopped at the BP petrol station in Northern Road in Cosham, to fill up so she could drop her grandchildren off at school.

16/12/14    ''Joanne Smith of Paulsgrove claims a staff member at the BP garage in Cosham smashed her windscreen with a red fire sand bucket.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (143542-5) PPP-141216-130046001

16/12/14 ''Joanne Smith of Paulsgrove claims a staff member at the BP garage in Cosham smashed her windscreen with a red fire sand bucket.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (143542-5) PPP-141216-130046001

But the 49-year-old said she was shocked and appalled when the manager of the store short-changed her by £10 and then went on to use a fire bucket to smash her car’s windscreen.

Mrs Smith, of Leominster Road, Paulsgrove, said: ‘I had my daughter and two grandchildren in the car and remember I had £20 to get petrol, as well as bread and milk from the shops.

‘That’s why I knew I would get £10 back as I needed it later on.

‘When I got to the till I saw the cashier take £10 out of the till and put it to one side, then gave me the remainder of the change.

‘I said “sir you have only given me change for £10, I gave you £20,” but he wasn’t having any of it.

‘I asked if he could check the till receipt or the CCTV because I was sure of the money I gave him, but he refused.’

Mrs Smith said she then called the police to report the incident, who in turn told her it was a civil matter and she should speak to Trading Standards.

‘I wasn’t happy with that,’ added Mrs Smith.

‘I admit I then provoked the situation because I wasn’t happy and took a can of oil from the shelf and went and sat in my car until the police arrived.

‘A short while later the manager came over, emptied a fire bucket that was full of sand outside, and smashed my windscreen.

‘I was scared and shocked at what had happened and can’t afford to get it repaired.’

Police attended the incident and confirmed they are investigating a case of criminal damage.

No-one has been arrested, Hampshire police confirmed yesterday.

The BP petrol station is run by firm MRH retail.

David Hathaway, group company secretary, said: ‘Inspection of our till records indicate the customer did make a £20 cash payment and it appears once the disagreement began it quickly escalated.’

He added: ‘We’re conducting our own investigation into the matter but because this is still in its early stages we are not prepared to discuss the details at this time.

‘Nevertheless, based upon the evidence from our till records, we will be contacting the customer to refund to her the £10 of additional change that she is due from her transaction.

‘We’re disappointed the manager of the service station failed to observe our policy of adopting a non-confrontational approach when dealing with a customer complaint.

‘While this type of mistake is unusual it does occasionally happen in all retail environments and in the rare event one of our customers considers they have not been given the correct amount of change our policy is to try to resolve the customer’s concern accurately, quickly and calmly at the point of sale.’