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Tesco worker sacked for chasing thief kills himself

‘Outstanding’: Shaun with award PICTURE: SWNS

A TESCO worker killed himself after being sacked for leaving his till to chase a shoplifter, an inquest heard.

Shaun Winstanley, 49, had worked for the supermarket giant for 17 years and won several commendations — including a ‘15 Years Of Outstanding Service’ award.

But, in February, the father-of-three was devastated when he was dismissed from his role as a customer assistant at Tesco Express.

Mr Winstanley’s family said bosses had told him he had ‘behaved unreasonably’ by leaving his till to chase a shoplifter a month earlier. The company said he had put himself and a customer in danger. He was found dead at his home in Staining, Lancashire, after a worried friend alerted police.

After the hearing at Blackpool town hall, Mr Winstanley’s stepdaughter Siobhan, 28, accused Tesco of letting her father down.

She said: ‘It is very raw and very difficult for us to come to terms with. I am angry at Tesco. Seventeen years he gave them — and when he needed them most they let him down.’

The inquest heard Mr Winstanley had been suffering from mental health problems since he was held at gunpoint during a robbery in May last year.

Ms Winstanley said her father was offered five counselling sessions following the raid but was not initially offered any time off work. He was disciplined for missing three shifts.

She said: ‘He had struggled with his mental health on and off. He said he was struggling to sleep. He was very anxious. He was very depressed.’

Coroner Clare Doherty recorded a conclusion of suicide.

A Tesco spokesman said: ‘The welfare and safety of our colleagues is of utmost importance to us and we were extremely sad to hear about the death of Mr Winstanley.

‘Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on individual circumstances relating to our colleagues.’