Her name is Cinnamon Heathcote-Drury and she’s a celebrity photographer who attempted to help a Muslim woman empty her shopping cart.
Via the Daily Mail:
She had been to see a friend and was on her way home to Kensington when she decided to pop into the store for some groceries at about 2pm.
She was waiting to pay at the checkout when she noticed a man with two small children also queuing. They were joined by a woman wearing a hijab and a long black tunic who began unloading an overflowing trolley, one item at a time.
She says: ‘I glanced over and thought, “This poor woman’s going to be there for hours.” Her husband was standing closest to me, so I said to him, “Will you help her?”
‘He said, “I’ve got the children.” I said, “Well, I can help her” and he replied, “What’s it to you?” I said, “This is what feminism’s about – women helping women.”
He said, “Oh, get lost.” I looked at the woman and said, “We live in a society in Britain where rights are equal – if you need help you can ask for it.”’
Apparently, that was like pouring gasoline on the fire…
The couple became infuriated. ‘The husband came up behind me and said in my ear, “You f*** off,” which I found very intimidating,’ Miss Heathcote-Drury says. ‘I wanted to get out of the shop as quickly as possible, but he approached me again.’
She called for a security guard and when one arrived, he began speaking to the man. Meanwhile, Miss Heathcote-Drury, who had paid for her shopping, was making her escape down the aisle when she claims she felt a sharp pain in her left shin and stumbled.
‘The woman was standing with her hand on her hip and smirking. She wanted to humiliate me. Then she hit me on the left cheek.’
According to Miss Heathcote-Drury, a struggle ensued in which she was kicked in the right shin and her hat was wrenched from her head before the woman lost her balance and fell.
You’ll love what happened next…
In shock and trembling, Miss Heathcote-Drury was led to a back room to wait until two police officers arrived. They took her name, date of birth and address, and then left. When they returned after speaking to the couple, she was told she was being arrested for racially aggravated assault.
‘I was absolutely astounded,’ she says. ‘It was just total disbelief. I had no idea what was going on, but I kept thinking, “When they watch the CCTV they’ll see what happened.”
‘I now know they had spoken to the couple before me and believed their story without even hearing mine. They marched me through the store and took me to Chelsea police station. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. They spent hours fingerprinting me, taking my details and my DNA, in a stark room. I kept asking if I could see a nurse, because my cheek was very sore, but I was told the nurse was busy.
‘I asked again and again when I could make my statement, but the officer kept saying, “You can’t make a statement, you’re under arrest.”
Why was the couple believed before getting Heathcote-Drury’s story? Well, perhaps the lie was so outlandish, it couldn’t possibly be a lie…
A duty solicitor arrived and explained that the couple had claimed Miss Heathcote-Drury had used the words ‘suicide bomber’ and ‘terrorist’, called the man a ‘bad feminist’ and said they were probably on jobseekers’ allowance. She was then interviewed.
‘I said that I hadn’t used the words “suicide bomber”, but the officer asked me how I would feel, as a Muslim, being called that,’ she says. ‘I felt they didn’t want to listen.’
Of course, the logical next step would be to arrest the victim…
Three days later, her worst fears were realised when she was charged. ‘I was in shock,’ she says. ‘I was told the CPS had made the decision to charge me on December 16, without even knowing about my counter-allegation. I felt the police had no interest in my side at all.
‘They hadn’t talked to any witnesses apart from the couple and a cashier who hadn’t seen crucial parts of the incident.
‘I felt like they just wanted me as a convenient statistic to help them meet a target.’
This particular chapter in Heathcote-Drury’s life ended this week when she was acquitted.
No news on whether the couple or police would suffer any consequence for their actions.