Tesco worker known as ‘mummy’ died after confronting ‘shoplifters’

Tesco worker, 59, known as ‘mummy’ by colleagues collapsed and died at work shortly after confronting ‘shoplifters’

  • Mother-of-two Hilary Simmons confronted two suspects in Middlesbrough 
  • She fell down 30 minutes after the altercation at the Express shop, court heard 
  • The 59-year-old was suffering from an undiagnosed heart condition at the time
  • Stressful event contributed to her death, but not to a criminal standard 

Hilary Simmons (pictured, with her daughter, Alison Simmons) died shortly after confronting suspected thieves in Tesco 

A Tesco worker known as ‘mummy’ by colleagues collapsed and died suddenly after confronting suspected shoplifters, an inquest has heard.

‘Bubbly’ Hilary Simmons fell down around half an hour after the altercation at an Express shop, a court was told.

The jury inquest, which opened this morning at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, heard the 59-year-old was suffering from an undiagnosed heart condition at the time of the incident, but the confrontation ‘contributed significantly’ to her death.

During the late shift at the store on Corporation Rd in Middlesbrough on April 30 last year the ‘well respected’ and much loved shift leader was involved in an altercation with the two suspected shoplifters after they entered the shop, the jury was told.

And within half an hour of the incident, the mum-of-two collapsed while having a cigarette with another staff member, the court heard.

Hilary was pronounced dead at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough that evening.

Jurors were told she had no known serious health issues but the incident ‘contributed significantly to the cardiac arrhythmia and then Hilary’s death’, although not to a criminal standard.

Hilary Simmons died after she confronted two suspected shoplifters at this Tesco Express in Middlesbrough 

During the inquest two pathologists said Hilary could have passed away suddenly or unexpectedly at anytime, but the stressful event contributed to her death.

In a statement read to the court, Dr. Cooper said Hilary collapsed and died suddenly, despite attempts at resuscitation a short time after the confrontation.

He explained that a stressful incident, such as confronting shop lifters, ’causes the heart rate to rise and the heart to work harder’.

The court was told that Hilary was heard to have said, ‘I feel like I’m having a heart attack,’ before she died.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court (pictured) heard that staff at the Tesco referred to Hilary as ‘Mummy’ 

A colleague of Hilary’s at the Tesco Express store told the court the two suspected shoplifters ‘got under her skin’ and that that evening she ‘had had enough’ and ‘they affected her differently’.

The store now has a security guard present everyday. In a statement read to the court Stan Simmons, Hilary’s husband, said: ‘(Hilary) had a great personality and loved to laugh.

‘She was a bubbly person and outgoing. Hilary and I would call each other nicknames, as a laugh, and that was just to show how we were to each other.

‘She loved her work. She was very well liked in the store and known as “Tesco Mummy”.

‘She must have stopped hundreds (of shoplifters) in her time. She would class the stock as being her own and not Tesco’s.

‘She was well known and respected in the town. She would not have a bad word to say about anyone. I never heard Hilary complain ever about being ill.’

The inquest continues.


Source: Read Full Article