A man was arrested after stripping bottles of Russian-made vodka from Sainsbury’s shelves in protest at the store’s failure to remove them over the invasion of Ukraine.
Mike Ockelford, 59, was detained by police after taking dozens of bottles of alcohol, including Russian Standard vodka, from the display at the supermarket in Basildon, Essex.
His “spur of the moment protest” happened while he went to buy cakes for his office and saw the East Mayne Superstore had not yet taken down the bottles.
Ockelford was disappointed they had not been removed after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.
Security firm boss Ockelford moved the bottles to a shopping cart and took them to the front of the store, asking to see the manager who was not in.
An assistant manager then said they would ask their head office about it and took his details.
Ockelford, a father of two and grandfather, said: “I had a look at the alcohol shelf and saw that the Russian products were still on the shelves, so I checked the bottles and removed all the vodka bottles bottled in St Petersburg.
“The situation was a bit inflamed by this floor manager who overruled the assistant manager who insisted that the bottles should go back on the shelves.
“He claimed the bottles were made in the UK, which is why I became annoyed because Russian Standard vodka is bottled in St Petersburg – which it says on the bottle.
“I did raise my voice and told him he was talking ‘a load of bollocks’, and then he called the police”.
Ockleford claims that he then left the store and went and sat in his car after the assistant manager took his details, but then returned to speak to police as he had “nothing to hide”.
He added: “I went and told them I’d made the commotion and explained what happened and why I’d removed the bottles.
“They asked for my details and then asked for my address, and I didn’t feel like I had to give that to them so they handcuffed me and put me in the back of their car for three minutes”.