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  1. ITV Report

Angry mum spits in face of Christmas elf in Stockton shopping centre because her child couldn't see Santa

Castlegate Shopping Centre in Stockton Photo: ITV News Tyne Tees

An angry mum spat in the face of a Christmas elf after being told her child couldn't go in Santa's Grotto.

The woman was became irate when told she needed to book a spot to see Father Christmas at the Castlegate Shopping Centre in Stockton.

The incident happened during an 'autism hour' on Saturday, December 8 when lights and noises are dimmed and bookings for the grotto need to be made in advance.

Cleveland Police has confirmed it took place between 3pm and 4pm, and said it's working hard to identify the woman responsible.

  • Inspector Mark Doherty, Stockton Neighbourhood Team said:

The elves and staff at the grotto go to great effort to make sure that families have a wonderful experience when they are visiting Santa.

It’s absolutely abhorrent that anyone would spit in the face of one of the elves.

We’ve recorded it as a crime and will be working alongside the Castlegate Shopping Centre to identify the woman. Anyone who knows the woman responsible or saw the incident should contact us."

– Inspector Mark Doherty, Stockton Neighbourhood Team
Castlegate Shopping Centre in Stockton Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
  • Castlegate Shopping Centre Manager Karen Eve said:

It doesn't exactly scream 'Christmas spirit'.

We try and do something for the community that's above and beyond - for children with hidden needs. When you come across a member of public who doesn't support that, it's very disappointing."

– Castlegate Shopping Centre Manager Karen Eve