Harvey Nichols sued for £1m by dog-in-a-bag shopper
Barrister sues department store over 'assault' when she tried to take dog in handbag into store
A BARRISTER who claims Harvey Nichols security staff assaulted her after she tried to take a "tiny" dog into the Knightsbridge department store in her handbag is suing the company for up to £1 million.
Marianne Yvette Perkins, 42, has launched a writ against the department store for damages, alleging she was held in a "vice like grip" by between four and six members of staff before being wrongly held for assaulting a security guard. She adds that her Maltese puppy, Lilly, was elbowed during the incident in September 2010.
The insolvency barrister's case comes after Harvey Nichols launched a new advertising campaign, ironically featuring tiny dogs in handbags.
In documents filed with London's High Court and reported by the Evening Standard, Perkins's barrister, Henrietta Hill, claims the 42-year-old was accosted shortly after entering Harvey Nichols at 4.30 pm.
According to the writ, Perkins was approached by a female security guard who spotted Lilly strapped inside the handbag she was carrying over her shoulder. When the guard told her to leave the store because dogs were not permitted, a row ensued.
"Miss Perkins then asked the guard why the store had a problem with such a tiny dog secured in a handbag", the writ states. "The guard refused to answer the question and became angry. Miss Perkins joked that she was behaving a bit like that 'computer says no' comedy sketch on television."
The writ says Perkins then left the store and headed over to Knightsbridge tube station to meet a friend. As she descended the stairs, she was surrounded by four to six security guards. The men allegedly used "vice-like grips" on her upper arms and "jabbed their elbows" into the lawyer and her puppy.
According to the writ, she was then dragged up the stairs and detained until police arrived to arrest her over claims she had punched the female security guard in the face.
The police did not charge Perkins because it was clear no assault had taken place. Perkins said she developed post traumatic stress disorder and depression after the incident, which has affected her career. ·