Chewing tobacco spat at shop

DISGUSTING: The red stains left by the chewed tobacco
DISGUSTING: The red stains left by the chewed tobacco
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A city newsagents is being repeatedly targeted by a person spitting chewed tobacco at its door and shutters.

Azhar Food Store, in Hartington Road, Preston, has been splattered with dark red stains on its doorstep and the pavement outside.

Mr and Mrs Hussain, who have run the shop on the corner of Northcote Road for 10 years, said the spitting had happened on and off for the past five weeks.

Mrs Hussain said: “It’s a red tobacco so it looks like a murder scene.

“It’s disgusting and I’m sick of cleaning it up.

“We get kids sitting on our door step and dogs licking it so it’s dangerous.

“By running this story hopefully we can embarrass whoever is doing this and get them to stop.”

Mrs Hussain said it costs £2 to £3 a time to clean the stains, using a combination of vinegar, caustic soda and bleach.

She then has to put down salt to make sure her customers do not slip on the step.

She and her husband have sat outside the store in their car early in the morning to try and catch the culprit.

She said: “We think they are doing it in the early morning, and we’ve sat outside between 4.30am and 6am to try and catch them.

“I don’t think it could be a vendetta against us. It’s really baffling.”

The couple have reported the matter to Preston Council’s Environmental Health department and to the police, who have put up posters asking people not to spit chewing tobacco, or gutka.

Gutka is the name of a mild stimulant, similar to chewing tobacco, which is manufactured in India.

Deep red in colour, the controversial substance is considered responsible for oral cancer and other severely negative health effects.

After it is consumed, it is generally spat onto a wall or at the ground, causing an unsightly and difficult to remove red stain.

If you have seen the culprit or have any information about the person responsible, contact police on 101.