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A Family of French holidaymakers who claimed they were brutally attacked by security guards at Carrefour hypermarket in Torrevieja (Alicante province) are taking court action against the firm after saying even their children were searched, pushed around and shaken.

The guards, who have both been suspended from their jobs temporarily by the security firm employed by the store, claim they caught the couple trying to steal a sausage worth three euros.

Jeanine Alice Naud and her husband Jean-Louis Naud deny having attempted to shoplift a sausage and say they had just finished their shopping when the alarm went off and Mme Naud was searched.

Guards did not find anything, but they were then all taken into a room where they suffered ‘humiliating treatment’ and ‘beatings’ by the two vigilantes in front of their children.

Their elder son, aged 13, videoed the entire incident on his mobile phone while their youngest, aged five, stood watching and crying.

According to their solicitor in Spain, María del Carmen Pérez Cascales, M. Naud was handcuffed and Mme Naud was hit and spat on whilst they were held in a private room for over an hour.

During this time they ‘were unable to move’, ‘received no explanations’, and as they did not understand Spanish ‘had no idea what was going on’, says Sra Pérez Cascales.

They were ‘repeatedly searched and pushed about’, both the adults and the two children.

CCTV footage provided by the security guards shows one of the adults picking up the sausage in question, but then later putting it back on the shelf, and a subsequent shot shows them paying for their groceries at the till, which came to 11 euros.

To make matters worse, they were then reported to the police for ‘actual bodily harm’.

Security camera clips show Mme Naud biting one of the guards, which she admits, but this was because at the time – as is shown by the film footage – the guard in question was holding her roughly round the neck with both hands and she was struggling to breathe.

“Jeanine Alice Naud bit the guard in legitimate self-defence,” says the family’s solicitor, who says the guards made up the story about their having tried to steal a sausage to ‘justify the unjustifiable’.

M. Naud, who appeared in court this week with his wife to testify, said it was ‘necessary’ for ‘the truth to be known’, since he considers the attack to be ‘an incidence of racism’.

“The French embassy said Carrefour – which is a French company – would contact us, but they have not done so,” M. Naud lamented.

“Carrefour is liable because it is they who contracted the security company, and the security company is liable for its employees.”