Store refuses Leeds mum Christmas crackers

A 23-year-old mum was stopped from buying her family's Christmas crackers – because the store didn't think she looked old enough to buy seasonal explosives.

Mum-of-two Libby Whitehead, from Bramley, Leeds, had to ask her 47-year-old mum to buy the festive bangers after she was refused the sale by a cashier at Asda's Pudsey store.

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She said she was embarrassed to be told she was could not buy the crackers which, according to the packaging, are suitable for children aged three or over.

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Libby said: "I thought she (the cashier] was joking.

"I can buy matches, candles and bleach and no-one asks questions, but in my mind they are all more dangerous than crackers.

"I do look young for my age but it said on the back of the box that they were only not suitable for children under the age of 36 months."

She added: "If I know that I am buying alcohol then I'll take my ID,

but I am not going to go out with my passport to buy crackers for my five-year-old daughter."

A spokesman for the Leeds-based supermarket apologised for the mistake and agreed that the situation was totally "crackers".

He said that by law anyone in the UK wishing to buy crackers must be aged over 16 – as they are classified as fireworks.

In a bid to make sure that no underage sales are made, the store has a policy to not sell to anyone who looks under the age of 25, unless they

have ID proving they are old enough.

"We know it's a bit daft, in fact it's total crackers, but we have to operate within the law," said the Asda spokesman.

"We'd like to apologise to any customers who are inconvenienced by this over cautious regulation.

"In the main we do a pretty good job judging whether someone is over 16. But occasionally we get it wrong – as in this case.

"We won't criticise our colleagues though for err-ing on the side of caution – as ultimately it is them who are in the firing line, as they can be fined or imprisoned if they sell a cracker to someone underage."

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