Disabled pensioner hits out at Hartlepool supermarket in wheelchair row

Marlene Jakubek outside of Asda Marina Way Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Marlene Jakubek outside of Asda Marina Way Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

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A disabled pensioner blasted Hartlepool’s Asda supermarket after she was asked to get up out of a wheelchair while waiting for a taxi.

Marlene Jakubek, aged 65, borrowed a wheelchair belonging to the Marina Way store after doing her weekly shop.

Asda Marina Way Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Asda Marina Way Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

She says she cannot stand unaided for more than a few minutes without her feet swelling up and causing her severe pain.

Ms Jakubek, of the Headland, says a member of staff asked her to get out of the wheelchair in case it was needed by someone else in store, but she refused.

Asda has now said it will provide another wheelchair in store for customers to use.

Ms Jakubek, who lives on the Headland, said: “This has happened a few times.

I cannot stand for more than two or three minutes in one spot without severe pain, my feet swell up like balloons

Marlene Jakubek

“It was not ‘we do need it’, it was ‘we might’.

“I asked them to give me a chair instead and the security guy said no. He said the chairs in store are only for people waiting for prescriptions.

“I said ‘I’m not moving’. I cannot stand for more than two or three minutes in one spot without severe pain, my feet swell up like balloons.

“I’m spending £100 to £150 a week and about £7,500 a year and they can’t even get something to sit on while you are waiting for a taxi. Sometimes it can take up to half an hour.

Marlene Jakubek outside of Asda Marina Way Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Marlene Jakubek outside of Asda Marina Way Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

“I’m angry with them.”

Ms Jakubek said a small two-seater outside bench was removed by the store to make more room for shopping trolleys.

It is believed at the time of the incident three of the store’s wheelchairs were being repaired leaving only one.

Ms Jakubek has a wheelchair of her own but says she would have no space to put her shopping in a vehicle if she took it.

She manages to get round the store using a trolley to support her.

Ms Jakubek added: “To take my own chair would take up valuable room.

“It’s either one or the other.”

A spokesman for Asda said: “We work hard to give our customers the very best shopping experience and always welcome feedback on how we can improve our service.

“In this case, we’re pleased to confirm that we have listened to Ms Jakubek’s concerns and will be providing the store with an additional wheelchair for customers to use during their weekly shop.”