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Article posted Jan 23 2007, 8:40 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: This is London Print

Store bans a boy of two for wearing his 'hoodie'

Possible thief or little boy wrapped up against the cold?

A boy has been banned from a shop because he was wearing a hood - at the age of two.

Jay Cowper was muffled up against the cold but he and his grandfather were told they had to leave their local store.

The same shop in York recently banned a middle-aged nurse for wearing a hooded top when she went to collect her morning newspaper.

Staff at Monkton Road Stores say they have a clear "no hoods" policy because of problems caused by troublemakers.

But Jay's grandmother Brenda Cowper said the ban was "laughable". She added: "I can understand their point, because there are a lot of kids who cause trouble down there, but when it's a two-year-old it's a bit pathetic."

Mrs Cowper, 54, a care assistant at York Hospital, said her husband took their grandson to the shop at about 7pm on Friday.

The shop, which serves the well-to-do Huntington area of York, is only a five-minute walk from the family home but it was a cold and windy night so Jay was wrapped up in a brown Next jacket with a furry hood.

Mrs Cowper said: "No sooner had they got inside than the shopkeeper said to my husband, 'Could you ask the little boy to remove his hood?'

"My husband said, 'He's only two and ahalf, I don't think he's going to rob you!'"

Mr Cowper, 51, refused on principle to take Jay's hood down and left the shop. He then had to drive to another shop, a Spar, to buy his cigarettes.

Mrs Cowper said: "My husband didn't make a scene at the time. He just left the shop straight away on principle. It's all right for us because we've got a car and we won't be going back.

"But there's a lot of old people round there who refuse to go because of this attitude and it's making life hard for them."

Jay Cowper's mother, Laura Cowper, 22, said she could not believe her well-behaved son had been banned for wearing a hoodie.

She said: "It's absolutely ridiculous. Besides anything else Jay is a very quiet little boy. It's not even like he was running round the shop or anything.

"He's just a normal little boy who's never much of a bother. I've even heard of very old ladies with their heads covered being turned away. All right, keep an eye out for young hooligans, but don't turn away good people like us."

Last November, the store refused to serve Lorraine Robinson, 47, a nurse who has used the shop for 40 years.

On that occasion staff at the shop said "no hoods" notices were clearly displayed and that the rules applied to everyone.

This time, a middle-aged man in the shop identified himself as the owner but declined to make any comment.

Hoodies first made headlines in 2005 when Bluewater shopping centre in Kent imposed a complete ban on wearers.

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Comments 1 - 6 of 6 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Jan 24 2007, 12:48 AM

12563 Welcome to the world of fascism as exercised by shopkeepers

Posted: Jan 24 2007, 12:46 PM

I still don't understand what merits somebody the ability to call anybody who's a teenager wearing a hoody a "troublemaker." I was under the impression that jackets were made to protect people from the cold, but maybe that's a lie just like everything else.

Posted: Jan 24 2007, 2:40 PM

128192 the shopkeepers have the right to bar anyone from their property.

Posted: Jan 24 2007, 10:58 PM

7616 The store owner should have the right to refuse hooded people, but pulling down a hood does not all of a sudden make anyone respectable. Jay Cowper probably cannot even read the sign. I would probably boycott the store, like forever...

Posted: Apr 27 2013, 10:31 AM

18456 Finally, a move on the complete idiocy of America! Thank you British shopkeeper for taking some of the dumb off of our shoulders! And if you ever grow a pair, take the signs down and run your store like a MAN.

Posted: Apr 27 2013, 4:30 PM

there's a bar here in exeter, owned by a man who has a similar policy. he doesn't allow people to wear their hats in any manner other than, forward- facing, nor, does he allow for a hood to be worn into his establishment.

this article is a front anyhow, has nothing to do with a store nor, a little boy. a no-hood policy, coming from people who hide behind the counter.... i agree with Anon 7616 - boycotting the store of an insane person forever, is sound advice.

Comments 1 - 6 of 6 Page 1 of 1

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