A DISABLED pensioner has been banned from her local post office after a row with a worker who was praying during his shift.

Retired hairdresser Sue James had an argument with the staff member who she said was praying behind the counter instead of serving customers at Premier Feniscowles convenience store in Blackburn.

The 70-year-old, who rides a mobility scooter, had cross words with the Muslim worker after she said he left her standing at the counter for five minutes as she tried to collect her pension.

She told him: “It’s not a church, this is a post office.”

The post office worker, who claimed Mrs James was being abusive, received support from his manager Adam Bux, who backed his decision to ban her.

The Feniscowles grandmother, who has arthritis, arrived to pick up her weekly pension from the Preston Old Road post office on January 4.

Mrs James left her scooter outside the shop, as she was unable to take it into the store with her, and stood at the counter waiting for several minutes ‘in pain’ but with no one to serve her.

The mum-of-one muttered out loud, ‘This is b****y ridiculous’ before a member of staff ‘jumped up’ from behind the counter and told her: “How dare you speak to me in this way?”

After a heated row with the staff member, she was told to leave the shop and never return.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mrs James, who lives alone in sheltered accommodation five minutes away at Lingfield Court, said: “I stood there waiting for five minutes and said ‘this is b****y ridiculous’, when out of the blue a man jumped up off the floor.

“He told me not to speak to him like that because he was praying. I was shocked. I told him it’s not a church, it’s a post office.”

The former Chorley hairdresser now has to travel to the next nearest post office, two miles away in Mill Hill, to collect her pension.

Her daughter, Victoria Williams, has spent the last two weeks driving her mother to the New Chapel Street post office.

The 43-year-old, who lives around the corner from her mother, said: “My mum was upset and annoyed at the time.

“She told me she had left her card in the machine by accident so I then had to go and get it back.

“I asked what had happened and they claimed my mum had been very abusive to them.

“My mum has now been banned.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mr Bux, who has been running the business for several years but was not at the store when the incident occurred, said the employee made the right decision to ban Mrs James.

The 36-year-old said: “I remember the worker telling me the story and I told him he made the right decision.

“He took five minutes out of his shift to do prayers, which he is entitled to do and is stated in his contract of employment.

“He was prepared to serve the lady but he told me she was being horrible and abusive. It was his executive decision and he said it was not acceptable.”

The incident has not been referred to Post Office bosses.