Blackpool police rescued a woman 2 hours after she was accidentally locked in Pets Paradise

Pets Paradise on Topping Street, central Blackpool.
Pets Paradise on Topping Street, central Blackpool.
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A woman from Blackpool who was mistakenly locked in a pet shop had to wait 2 hours before police released her.


Anne Hall, 45, of Reads Avenue in central Blackpool, says she had been upstairs looking at the animals at Pets Paradise at 5pm on Friday, May 31, when she discovered that she was trapped in the shop.

Police had to intervene to help Anne get free.

Police had to intervene to help Anne get free.

The canteen assistant, who has a history of anxiety and panic attacks, was even more distressed to discover that she had less than 10% charge left on her phone.

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Fearing she would be locked in the shop all night, Anne sent a desperate text to her sister-in-law, Charon Powell, asking for help.

"I have known her for 25 years," Anne says, "she's the only family I have round here."

Charon, 65, from Kilmory Place in Bispham, found a mobile number for Pets Paradise - but found that it was switched off.

Then she called the police.

"There was nothing else I could do," Charon says, "they were quite good and quite fast at sorting it."

"I sent a message to Anne saying not to worry and that the police were on their way to help."

After almost 2 hours, the police managed to get in touch with the owner, and accompanied him to the shop.

"I was embarrassed," Anne says, "embarrassed and angry as well."

She says the owner insisted repeatedly that he had gone upstairs to lock the windows before going downstairs to shut the shop.

But Anne does not believe that he did.

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"I said, 'No you never - if you went upstairs you would have seen me."

"I was going to argue with him properly but it was the police that calmed me down."

A spokesperson for Pets Paradise claimed that Anne was drunk - and must have fallen asleep in the shop for her to get locked in - but refused to comment further.

Anne denies this: "I wasn't drunk at all...I did not fall asleep in the shop."

"If I was drunk he shouldn't have been selling animals to me in the first place."