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Lockdown toilet roll bulk-buy ban bottoms out with racism fine for Fife man

The bulk-buy ban was met with a racist posting by the accused.
The bulk-buy ban was met with a racist posting by the accused.

A Fife man posted a racist comment on Facebook under a dispute about bulk-buying toilet roll during lockdown.

Just days after the first lockdown was announced in March 2020, a customer photographed Malkha’s News and Food store in Kirkcaldy after being prevented from making a multiple purchase.

The store had been implementing a widespread policy of no more than two identical items.

The aggrieved customer posted the image on a Fife community Facebook page complaining this policy was in place.

This post was not deemed to be threatening but police became involved when Christian McLeod commented underneath.

Of the Birnam Road shop’s Pakistani owner Fazal Sindhu, groundworker McLeod commented: “F*** off back home and sell your toilet paper. Plenty of sh*t there.”

The shopkeeper considered this to be racist and contacted police.

Malkha’s, Birnam Road, Kirkcaldy, had imposed a bulk-buy ban in lockdown.

At Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, McLeod admitted acting in a racially aggravated manner on March 21, 2020.

His solicitor Raymond Wachtel said: “My client was not the customer who was in the shop.

“My client replied with the comment.

“It’s not something that would be normal for him to do.

“He’s embarrassed by that remark.”

Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane fined the 48-year-old, of Rolland Avenue in East Wemyss, £300.

Toilet roll shortages a lockdown feature

Toilet roll shortages hit the headlines before the first Covid-19 lockdown had even been announced.

With people panicking about the impending coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, shop shelves were cleared of essentials as people stocked up for a crisis about which little was yet known.

Empty shelves quickly became commonplace as shop owners scrambled to re-stock and eventually limit bulk-buying of all sorts of goods.

Such was the shortage of loo rolls, one cafe in Milnathort saw it’s staff toilet supply stolen by a desperate customer.

‘Be considerate’: Pictures show scale of coronavirus panic-buying at one of Dundee’s busiest shops

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