Tesco shopper 'at breaking point' over Covid rules who tore sheet off 'non-essential' items CONVICTED of criminal damage

A TESCO shopper “at breaking point” over Covid rules has been convicted of criminal damage after tearing a sheet off “non-essential” shop items.

Gwilym Llywn Owen, 28, was filmed furiously pulling coverings off clothes rails in the Tesco in Bangor, Wales on October 23.

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In the shocking clip, the apprentice plasterer can be heard shouting: "Rip the f*****s off. Kids f****** clothes, mate, it's a disgrace.

"Coming into winter now, it's a f*****g disgrace."

In a court hearing on the event, officers were played the clip which had gone viral online.

The court was told he had reached "breaking point" over "unfair" and "illogical" Covid rules.

Prosecutor Diane Williams told the court members of Tesco’s staff had to “face the wrath” of Owen as he tore off the protective sheeting. 

Ms Williams explained how security officer Jared Ward had told Owen to “calm down” during his tirade. 

Ms Williams said: “It was clear that Mr Owen was irate and was shouting about the recent lockdown measures, swearing and saying that children’s clothes are essential.

“He was not wearing a mask and not complying with the two metres requirement.”

Another Tesco worker's statement said staff had worked “extremely hard” during the pandemic and had carefully taped off the area.

And when police went to Owen’s home in Holyhead Road, Gaerwen to arrest him for a public order offence, criminal damage and breach covid regulations, Owen allegedly hurled abuse at the cops, saying “f****** fascists, the lot of you”. 

Owen pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to the store’s plastic sheeting and admitted used threatening or abusive words or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He was today convicted and sentenced to a 12 month community order, as well as having to do 250 hours of unpaid work and pay Tesco £200 in compensation.

The young man’s outburst had come after Wales was placed into a two-week firebreak lockdown – and non-essential shops were forced to close. 

“Non-essential goods” in supermarkets, including toys and clothes, were also taped off during the country’s lockdown, leading to Owen’s furious rant. 

The Caernarfan Magistrate’s court heard how Owen had railed against the “unfair and illogical” Covid restrictions in the shop. 

Mr Owen’s dad, who attended court, said his son’s outburst came after an “accumulation of several months of stress caused by the pandemic”, reaching “breaking point”.

He said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an untold amount of mental stress to many and appears to have had an impact on the younger generation.”

Mr Owen senior is a retired Cheshire County Council outward bound centre worker and a cycling event adviser for Holyhead and Llangefni Rotary Club.

And defence lawyer Gilly Harradence, said there had been “controversy” over which items were non-essential during Wales’ firebreaker period. 

Ms Harradence said: “Mr Owen just wanted to highlight the unfairness and illogicality of the regulations.

Ms Harradence added that Owen had meant to hold a “peaceful protest” and that he wasn’t wearing a mask as he has asthma. 

She said: “He did not intend to hurt or distress anybody and has apologised to staff.”

But Chairman of the bench Alastair Langdon told Owen: “You and an associate went to a store to film your objections to Welsh Assembly guidelines on coronavirus.

“It was quite clear you had no regard for the welfare or safety of shoppers or the staff. Your actions must have been both frightening and worrying to a number of people in the immediate vicinity.

“You had a total disregard for the shelving, fixtures and stock when you were ripping the polythene.”

On top of his sentencing, Owen was ordered to pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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