UK

Harvey Nichols Sued By Barrister Marianne Perkins For 'Attack' On Dog In Handbag

11/03/2013 16:23 GMT

A dog-loving barrister who claims she was assaulted and falsely imprisoned in Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, when she attempted to take her lapdog into the shop is suing the luxury department store for £1m.

Marianne Perkins is taking action against the luxury department store - which most unfortunately recently launched a campaign featuring large dogs in designer handbags - for alleged false imprisonment, personal injury and costs of medical treatment to her Maltese puppy Lilly, according to the High Court writ seen by the Evening Standard.

Perkins, an insolvency barrister who also makes dog accessories including a jewelled lead costing £600, was featured in a Wonderland documentary from the BBC last year 'Walking With Dogs'.

In the writ, Perkins said she was waiting for a friend in the department store in September 2010, carrying her dog in a dog carrier, but was told to leave by a female security guard "in a brusque fashion".

The writ said that after leaving the store, Perkins alleges she was attacked by between four and six male members of staff who used “vice-like grips on her upper arms to hold her and pinched and squeezed her arms.

"They also jabbed their elbows into Miss Perkins’ body and into Lilly."

The writ continued: "One of the men gave a very intentional and forceful thrust of his elbow directly into Lilly, while directing expletives at Miss Perkins.

"She was dragged up the stairs by the men and forcibly conveyed to street level, where she was detained, pending the arrival of the police who had been called.

“Miss Perkins was informed by one of the men that she had screamed and sworn at the female security guard and then punched her in the face and nose. This was plainly untrue.

“Miss Perkins was arrested on the basis of untrue allegations made about her behaviour made by Harvey Nichols’ staff."

Perkins was never charged for the attack, which she claims is because CCTV evidence proved she did not assault the security guard.

Perkins says she has developed post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Her damages claim, which she says is worth "more than £25,000 but not more than £1,000,000" mostly relates to psychiatric injury and lost earnings.

Harvey Nichols Group Ltd’s defence to the action was not available from the court. A spokeswoman for Harvey Nichols told the Telegraph said they could not comment due to ongoing court proceedings.