Peckham shopkeeper at centre of ‘choking’ row takes refuge from angry demonstrators in secret hideout and hits back at ‘racism’ accusations – as protesters continue to gather outside his shop plastered with angry notes
- Sohail Sindho, 45, grappled with woman in Peckham Hair and Cosmetics store
- He has taken refuge in a secret hideout to escape the angry demonstrators
The shopkeeper at the centre of the ‘throttling’ controversy in his London shop tonight appealed for calm as protesters continued to gather outside his store.
Sohail Sindho, 45, spoke to MailOnline at his secret hideout, where he has taken refuge from angry protesters, following the viral video which shows him grappling with a female customer in his Peckham Hair and Cosmetics store.
Mr Sindho showed scars to his right eye and his shoulder which he said were the result of the woman hitting him with a shopping basket.
He revealed he had separated from his wife and three sons and taken them out of school while angry crowds continued to congregate outside his shop.
‘If it wasn’t for my wife and three children I would walk right to the shop and out to the street and talk to the people, because I am very sorry about what happened,’ he said.
Sohail Sindho, 45, spoke to MailOnline at his secret hideout, where he has taken refuge from angry protesters, following the viral video which shows him grappling with a female customer
‘I want them to know that I was only trying to restrain her. I didn’t mean to put my hands around her throat, and it was only for a few seconds.
READ MORE: Crowd blocks busy Peckham road after social media video appearing to show shop owner put his hands around a woman’s throat
‘I do agree that I should not have done that. But I was trying to protect myself as she was hitting me as the video shows.
‘Some people have said that it might have been racial because I am Pakistani and she is a black lady. That is absolutely not the truth.
‘I want you to know that 99 percent of my customers are people of colour. They are like my family. I don’t know what being racist means.
‘I live and work in a multicultural place, and I am happy here and so are my family.’
He revealed his shock at the video of him confronting the woman going viral after being posted on social media. He received a call from a friend and then the threats started.
The woman he grappled with, like Mr Sindho, has been interviewed by police and released on bail.
The shop owned by Mr Sindho in Rye Lane Peckham, South London, which has seen demonstrations after a video of him appearing to put his hands around a woman’s neck went viral
Mr Sindho was shown in the viral video appearing to grab a shopper around the neck as she tries to free herself by hitting him with the shopping basket
Growing anger over the clip on social media led to calls for residents to boycott the shop
He said the whole matter rested on three wigs worth £7.99 each which the lady wanted to have a refund on.
READ MORE: Shopkeeper who was filmed ‘strangling a woman’ in Peckham insists he was ‘detaining, not choking’ her in row over no refund policy
But he pointed out to her that her receipt clearly showed no refunds were available, but he had offered her an exchange.
He said he had received hate calls from as far as America with people threatening his life.
But he said: ‘When the police came and they took her away, I told them I did not want her to be charged.
‘It was all a heat of the moment thing, nothing more than that.
‘I am hoping that I can meet with her and we can shake hands and reach a peaceful conclusion.
‘I have two college degrees and am not a simple man. I have friends from as far as China and I don’t see people’s colour. You could say that I am colour blind.’
He said he believed activists were ‘inflaming’ the situation and he hoped he could soon be allowed out of hiding.
Asked what would happen to his business, he held his head in his hands and said: ‘I don’t know. I just want peace and to know my family are going to be safe.’
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