"we don't accept any strangulation of any woman."
A London shopkeeper was filmed appearing to strangle a woman, sparking massive protests outside his store.
Sohail Sindho, owner of Peckham Hair and Cosmetics in South East London, claimed the woman was trying to steal from his store.
He allegedly refused the woman on some hair products before an argument ensued and she tried to take items from the shelves and leave.
The video shows Mr Sindho standing behind the woman as they grip onto each other while the person filming the video threatens to call the police.
After he appears to put his hands around her neck, the woman hits Mr Sindho over the head with a plastic shopping basket.
She then yells “call the police” as she claims he strangled her. But he refuses to let go.
The video went viral and sparked huge protests, with angry crowds blocking the roads.
They also plastered the storefront with notices criticising Mr Sindho’s actions.
Musician and security guard Raspect Rebellion, who was one of the protest organisers, said:
“I’m here because a shopkeeper strangled a woman and we don’t accept any strangulation of any woman.
“As someone who is SIA (Security Industry Authority) trained, that is not part of our training. We are meant to detain people safely and never put hands round the neck.
“I’ve done football stadiums, I’ve done nightclubs, I’ve done festivals. I’ve had to escort people out of places and I’ve always used their arm and their body. Never has my hand gone to their neck.”
He added that the woman in the video is a hair stylist who has spent £100 a month at the store for 15 years.
Edilenny Douteo, who filmed the video, said the pair were “shouting at each other from the beginning”.
She said: “She was asking for a refund and they told her that is not possible.
“So she went to the shop and she told them that if you’re not gonna get my refund, I want to get what I’m supposed to get for my money.”
Ms Douteo claimed that when the woman tried to leave, Mr Sindho “pushed her out” and then became “aggressive”.
Afterwards, he allegedly “strangled her very, very badly” and “dragged her into the shop”.
Ms Douteo added that the woman had tried to “take him away from her but she couldn’t”.
Watch the Video. Warning – Distressing Footage
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Police were called to the shop on Rye Lane at 1:16 pm on September 11, 2023, when a 31-year-old woman reportedly tried to steal items and an employee prevented her from leaving.
Mr Sindho was interviewed under caution while the woman was arrested on suspicion of assault and later bailed pending further enquiries.
Detective Chief Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh, local policing commander for Southwark, said:
“We know people will be concerned about a video circulating online of an incident in a shop.
“Our officers attended on Monday and continue to investigate the full circumstances of what has taken place.
“The investigation will include reviewing the actions of everyone involved. I would like to thank people in our local community for remaining calm and giving us the time to conduct a thorough investigation.
“If you have information that may help us I would urge you to get in touch.”
The shopkeeper has now broken his silence on the matter, insisting that he did not choke the woman.
Mr Sindho said: “No, I didn’t. It looks like I am choking her. It’s not choking. At the moment one hand was at the back, I was like detaining her.”
ITV London reporter Antoine Allen asked Mr Sindho whether he would act the same way if he could go back in time.
Mr Sindho replied: “No, I won’t behave the same. I’d just want to keep her inside. It wasn’t intentional, like, just get her round her neck randomly.”
The shopkeeper was then asked for his reaction if it was his wife or daughter in the video.
Mr Sindho said: “I would react the same way that people are reacting.
“That same thing is like, what, that second moment I need to think about, being as a man or something, I should ask my daughter, what you have done, have you done something?”
Mr Sindho admitted that he regrets the incident, adding:
“I have regrets, that’s why I’m talking to you. These are my regrets.
“When I told the police officer I don’t want to press charges, these are the regrets at that time.”
DCS Adjei-Addoh added:
“I would like to thank local people for their patience as we work to establish the full circumstances around the allegations made.
“We continue to examine various clips of footage that depict small sections of the wider incident and are working to establish what offences were committed and by whom.
“My officers will be patrolling Rye Lane today to provide reassurance to the community – I know that this incident will cause concern and I urge anyone who is worried to speak with their local policing team or with officers on patrol.”