Northern Ireland news

Hood ban 'an infringement of my human rights' teen tells shop owner

A would-be robber caught on CCTV in Eugene Diamond's shop
Mairead Holland

A NEWSAGENT who has a notice on the door of his Co Antrim shop asking people to remove their hoods has told how one youth accused him of "infringing" his human rights.

Eugene Diamond, who runs Diamond's shop in Ballymena, was so bemused by this latest response to his sign that he posted it on his Twitter page.

Mr Diamond, who this month celebrated 40 years in the Broughshane Street shop, said: "I explained to this young lad that on the number of occasions we’ve had intruders at Diamond's they have had hoods or masks on.

"He still wasn’t happy, he just didn't want to take it down, so he ended not coming in at all. He turned on his heel."

The shopkeeper, who is well-known for posting images of front pages of weekend papers on social media, said most young people understand the reasoning behind the notice but he does get the "odd one" who objects.

"I always ask them politely to take their hood down. The reason is that CCTV can't identify anyone when they have their hood up. One customer asked me why I hadn't asked an elderly woman to take her hood down!" he said.

"But on a serious note, just over a year ago I had a guy who turned up in a full Spider-Man outfit. I think he was just expecting the young sales assistant to be there because when he saw me he made off up the street.

"You see filling stations and garages with signs up asking motorcylists to remove their helmets for the same reason. It's the same idea."

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