Security guard in Tesco roof protest
A security guard who claims he was sacked from Tesco after being wrongly accused of stealing has spent the night in the supermarket’s roof space.
Adama Jammeh has been on the girders above the checkouts in Tesco Extra, Reading, for more than 20 hours, live-streaming on Facebook.
Shoppers were told to abandon their trolleys and leave the store as he climbed to the roof yelling.
Mr Jammeh told the BBC he was “stressed and angry”.
Tesco said it was “assisting police with the matter”.
The 46-year-old said he was falsely accused of stealing electrical goods worth £20,000 by the supermarket chain, which led to his sacking by security firm Total Security Services (TSS).
The father-of-two has spent the past six months staging a one-man protest outside the Portman Road store with banners.
Mr Jammeh, originally from Gambia, started the roof protest just after 18:00 BST on Thursday and says he has not slept and barely eaten.
“I’m stressed and angry but I’m still surviving up here,” he said.
“I’ve been protesting my innocence for six complete months and nothing has been done about it, they [Tesco] have ignored me.
“Every day I’m more angry. I’m only alive when I come out here to Tesco protesting my innocence.
“So yesterday I decided it was the last straw for me.”
Mr Jammeh said he would only come down if Tesco bosses apologise and “pay lost earnings”.
In one of his videos on Facebook, he apologised to shoppers.
“Sorry for some of you that are supposed to come here shopping in this store,” he said. “It’s inconvenient, sorry for that people but it’s something I have to do.”
His wife of 18 years, Dawn, is outside the supermarket supporting him.
She told BBC Berkshire reporter Nick Johnson “he will not be coming down willingly” and they are prepared to “accept the consequences”.
“He’s been wrongfully accused of stealing,” she said. “Tesco accused him, told his workplace and his workplace sacked him straight away.
“Police went through CCTV which took them 10 months to go through and said he was an innocent man and that it was somebody else.
“He’s had no apology off Tesco, no apology off TSS, and this is why he’s protesting now.”
The store’s management team is also outside but refusing to comment.
A Tesco spokesperson said they have nothing further to add.
A TSS spokesperson said: “We are aware of the incident involving a former employee of Total Security Services and are assisting the police and Tesco in this matter.”
Thames Valley Police is yet to respond to claims of Mr Jammeh’s innocence.
The Tesco Extra West store was evacuated just after 18:00 BST on Thursday after the police received reports concerning the “welfare of a man”.
Tesco said the company was still establishing the circumstances of the incident but believed the man had not been directly employed by Tesco but was a member of security staff.
A statement said: “We’re aware of an incident at our Reading West Extra store and are assisting police with the matter.”