• Security camera footage shows that the supermarket owner was confronted and attacked on December 30. (9News.com.au)Source: 9News.com.au
Security-camera footage shows the man was outnumbered six-to-one and punched in the head.
NITV Staff Writer

21 Jan 2019 - 5:00 PM  UPDATED 21 Jan 2019 - 5:00 PM

A group of people attacked staff at a Perth supermarket after the store owner allegedly detained a nine-year-old Aboriginal boy for shoplifting a bottle of soft drink.

The 41-year-old man has been charged with aggravated common assault and deprivation of liberty.

No charges have been made against those behind the alleged retaliation attack.

Security-camera footage shows six people corner the store owner and punch him twice in the head during the December 30 incident.

More people then enter the store, vandalise property, and ransack shelves as customers look on.

Supermarket items and rocks are thrown at staff. One staff member is covered with debris and takes cover behind the counter as a young woman takes cartons of cigarettes without paying.

Minutes earlier, the store owner grabbed the nine-year-old boy, in an effort he later claimed was to stop the boy from leaving the store. The store owner then locked the boy in an office at the back of the store.

The boy’s mother previously told NITV that he had been detained in a “cage”.

She said her son also sustained a number of injuries after he broke a window in an attempt to escape.

Photographs show cuts to the boy’s head, hands and arm.

Mervyn Eades, the founder and CEO of Ngalla Maya Aboriginal Corporation, who has been acting as a spokesman for the family said there was no excuse for the shopkeeper’s actions.

“No one has the right to handle anyone’s children, no matter what colour they are,” he said.

Mr Eades said the boy has been left traumatised.

John Hammond, a lawyer for the shopkeeper, said the shop owner intended to detain the child until police arrived but the group arrived first.

“My client's shop is getting regularly robbed, he's regularly copping tirades of abuse from customers and he's had enough,” he told the Nine Network.

Mr Hammond also said the shopkeeper migrated from Iran 18 months ago to pursue a safer and more peaceful life.

“Store owners need to be given greater protection by the law,” he said.

“Arguably there’s a need to change the law so that you can take greater steps to protect your property and your person.”

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