Riot drama for Herald’s production editor

Steve Hutchings had to be locked inside a Tesco Express for his own safety.

THE production editor of the Sidmouth Herald had to be locked inside a London Tesco Express store for his own safety after rioters attacked the shop.

Steve Hutchings, 57, was on a romantic tryst in the capital when he became involved in the chaos of the anti-cuts riot on Saturday.

He was making his way back from a lunch date in St James Park when rioters attacked the shop.

“It was not far from The Ritz,” he said. “I’d nipped in to a Tesco Express and then everything kicked off outside.

“Protesters were trying to smash the shop’s windows.

“The security staff locked us in for our own safety and my son was still outside, on the other side of the police line.”

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Mr Hutchings says he was locked in the shop for 10 to 15 minutes before staff let customers out the back door.

“I then had the problem of finding my son,” he said.

“Fortunately, I heard his voice shouting after me: ‘Thank God, you are safe’.

“It took two hours to get away from the area.”

Mr Hutchings added: “I thought the police were restrained under provocation. It was just the anarchist element that was out to cause trouble and provoke the police.”