Late Night Dispute Over Trapped Coat in Arcadia Centre - Updated
Staff acted professionally say management
A mother's claim that she was locked inside a deserted Arcadia centre in Ealing after security guards left her when her coat got stuck in an escalator have been dismissed by Centre bosses.
It's been reported that Marketing manager Paedra Sohrens, 44 who was with her 12-year-old son Nathaneal, got her £3,000 overcoat wedged in the mechanism just before closing time at around 7.45pm last night.
She refused to leave the building without the coat and demanded staff call out maintenance engineers - but the security guards told her it would have to wait until morning.
She called the police but was told it wasn't a criminal matter. Ms Sohrens says she was eventually sent home - without the coat- after 11.30pm and believes she was badly treated.
Peter Smith Director of Urban City - managing agents for the Arcadia Centre - told Ealingtoday.co.uk that the escalator wasn't malfunctioning and the incident was an accident. He says staff acted in a professional manner throughout.
''The centre was closing and the lady was upset about her coat, was remonstrating and chose to stay. It wasn't deserted - staff were in attendance throughout. We couldn't call out an engineer at that time of night which was explained to her but she wasn't happy and wouldn't leave.
'' It was an unfortunate experience and we are very sorry about it but we did what we could to help a customer who was in distress.
'' The night guard offered her son McDonalds and ordered a mini-cab for them both at 11.45pm.
'' When you run a shopping centre you have to expect to take some flak from customers, we have to put this down to such a day.''
Update from Mr Smith (12th January):
''Engineers were in attendance yesterday morning at about 10.30 am and freed the coat.
We made contact with Ms Sohrens and offered to have the coat cleaned and discussed compensation but so far she has declined to come in and collect the coat and/or discuss the matter further with us.
''The damage is about a 7" grease stain and a small pea sized hole. We are now holding the coat awaiting further developments.''
Update 14th January : ''Ms Sohrens called at the Centre last night at about 6pm with her husband and collected the coat with no cross words being exchanged.''
14th January 2011