Barrister sues Harvey Nichols for £1m over dog dispute brawl
The upmarket store Harvey Nichols is being sued for £1million by a barrister who is claiming that security staff roughed her up after she attempted to take her ‘designer dog’ into the shop.
Marianne Perkins claimed that she was held in a ‘vice-like grip’ by a number of staff after they had a dispute about the ‘tiny’ dog in her handbag.
Perkins, 42, alleged that she was grabbed as she made her way towards a tube station and that she was then manhandled to street level and held while the police were called.
She has also claimed that her Maltese puppy, Lilly, was ‘intentionally elbowed’ during the fracas. She is claiming damages for false imprisonment and personal injury as well as the cost of the treatment for injuries sustained by her dog.
Her High Court writ states she was due to meet a friend that day in September 2010 and was killing time in the world- famous London store. Lilly was in her handbag as she entered.
The writ goes on to state: ‘Within a matter of seconds, she was approached by a female security guard who demanded in a brusque fashion that she leave the store, saying it was policy that dogs are not permitted inside.’
The guard then refused to answer why the store had an issue with such a small dog and the writ then states that: ‘Miss Perkins pointed her finger at the guard’s nose in a playful gesture, saying something to the effect of “you’re so very serious” in a mock sombre tone.’
She then proceeded to leave the store but was apprehended by four to six male guards as she entered the nearby Knightsbridge Tube station.
‘The men used vice-like grips on her upper arms to hold her and pinched and squeezed her arms. They also jabbed their elbows into Miss Perkins’ body and into Lilly,’ says the writ.
It was alleged she had sworn at and punched the female guard. Miss Perkins spent five hours in police custody before being released without charge.
As well as the psychological trauma, Miss Perkins, an insolvency barrister from Bermondsey, south London, ‘suffered bruising to her arms which lasted for about ten days’.
Harvey Nichols’s defence was not available from the court and the claims have yet to be tested by evidence before a judge.