Witness says shopkeeper 'strangled' woman after row over refund

Shopkeeper who was filmed ‘strangling a woman’ in Peckham insists he was ‘detaining, not choking’ her in row over no refund policy – as protesters plaster the store with notices criticising him

  • Dramatic footage shows a scuffle between a man and woman in a Peckham store 

A Peckham shopkeeper who was accused of ‘strangling a woman’ insists he was merely ‘detaining’ her in row over no refund policy. 

Dramatic footage circulating on social media showed a scuffle between a woman and man – believed to be the owner of Peckham Hair and Cosmetics, Sohail Sindho, 45 – who appears to put his hands around her throat after she allegedly tried to steal from his store. 

Mr Sindho claimed that, after refusing a woman a refund on some hair products, an argument broke out and she attempted to take items from the shelves and walk out.

The Met Police told MailOnline a woman was arrested on suspicion of assault and later bailed pending further enquiries. The force said the shop worker has not been arrested.

Speaking to TV presenter and reporter Antoine Allen, Mr Sindho said: ‘It’s not choking… I was detaining her.’ 

An angry crowd yesterday blocked a busy road in south east London and anti-racism campaigners were protesting against what they claimed was an ‘example of everyday male violence against women’. Protesters also plastered the store with notices criticising the shopkeeper’s behaviour.

Protesters have plastered a Peckham store front with criticisms after a shopkeeper was filmed ‘strangling a woman’

Dramatic footage shows a scuffle between a woman and man, believed to be the owner of Peckham Hair and Cosmetics, Sohail Sindho, 45, who appears to put his hands around her throat after she allegedly tried to steal from his store

Shop owner Sohail Sindho,told MyLondon he ‘regrets’ the incident but alleged the woman was the initial aggressor. He told MyLondon ‘the woman came to the shop to ask for a refund on some hair she’d bought’ but a scuffle ensued when he refused

An angry crowd yesterday blocked a busy road in south east London and anti-racism campaigners were protesting against what they claimed was an ‘example of everyday male violence against women’. Pictured: Notices plastered on the storefront

The video, posted on Instagram, starts with Mr Sindho standing behind the woman as they grip onto each other while a person behind the camera threatens to call the police. 

The woman then hits him over the head with a plastic shopping basket after he appears to put his hands around her neck. 

She then yells ‘call the police’ as she claims he strangled her but he refuses to let go. 

Edilenny Douteo, 18, who filmed the video, said the pair were ‘shouting at each other from the beginning’. She told The Mirror: ‘She was asking for a refund and they told her that is not possible. 

‘So she went to the shop and she told them that if you’re not gonna get my refund, I want to get what I’m supposed to get for my money.’

Ms Douteo, recalling the incident, claimed that when the woman tried to leave the worker ‘pushed her out’ and then became ‘aggressive’.

She alleged that afterwards he ‘strangled her very, very badly’ and ‘dragged her into the shop’. Ms Douteo added that the woman had tried to ‘take him away from her but she couldn’t’.

The witness told the newspaper she saw the entire encounter but only started recording after things escalated. She said she didn’t think the man was going to do anything to the woman because ‘she’s a woman’ and was smaller than him.

Angry protesters have taped notes to the shop slamming the incident and woman’s arrest

The video, posted on Instagram, starts with the man standing behind the woman as they grip onto each other 

He then grabs on to her neck as she desperately tries to free herself by hitting him with the shopping basket 

READ MORE: Crowd blocks busy Peckham road after social media video appearing to show shop owner put his hands around a woman’s throat 

A large crowd gathered outside the shop in Rye Lane this afternoon, which had already closed after news of the fight spread on social media.

Growing anger over the clip on social media led to calls for residents to boycott the shop and sparked a planned protest outside the shop at 2pm today. 

The store closed in advance and a crowd has been gathered around the area with people peacefully protesting what they see as an ‘example of everyday male violence against women’. 

A small crowd initially gathered outside the shop with banners which steadily grew as bystanders joined in. 

A local resident in a stab vest, who said he was providing security for the event, said he was there to ensure the safety of members of the community during the protest. 

Protesters are still there nearly two hours after the demonstration began, covering the road and pavement in Rye Lane. 

The Met Police provided a statement for the initial incident and the protest this afternoon. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh, local policing commander for Southwark, told MailOnline: ‘We know people will be concerned about a video circulating online of an incident in a shop. 

‘Our officers attended on Monday and continue to investigate the full circumstances of what has taken place.

Growing anger over the clip on social media led to calls for residents to boycott the shop

A large crowd gathered in Rye Lane outside the shop, which had already closed after news of the fight spread on social media

Growing anger over the clip on social media led to calls for residents to boycott the shop and sparked a planned protest outside the shop at 2pm today

‘The investigation will include reviewing the actions of everyone involved. I would like to thank people in our local community for remaining calm and giving us the time to conduct a thorough investigation. 

‘If you have information that may help us I would urge you to get in touch.’

The Met says officers were called to the shop in Rye Lane, Peckham, at 1.16pm on Monday when it was reported that a 31-year-old woman attempted to steal items and an employee prevented her from leaving. The woman was also accused of assault.

She was arrested on suspicion of assault and later bailed pending further enquiries. 

The Met Police asks that anyone with any information about this incident calls 101 quoting CAD 3943/11Sep. It is not believed Mr Sondhi has been arrested as part of the Met’s response to the initial incident.

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