A father is furious after a supermarket that has banned schoolchildren stopped his son from buying a drink.

Morrisons in Borehamwood recently brought in a rule banning unaccompanied schoolchildren due to a spate of thefts.

But James Burns, whose son Jonathan was turned away from buying a drink last week, has blasted the Stirling Way store for the new rule, describing it as a “severe punishment”.

JCoSS Sixth-form student Jonathan, 17, visited the store in Stirling Way last Tuesday at 3pm. He had got off the bus from Barnet and was waiting for his bus to his home in Edgware when he went to Morrisons.

But as he arrived at the door, Jonathan, who was accompanied by a friend and not in school uniform, was stopped by the store’s security guard.

The guard told him he could not come in and the store manager said the same after he was called over.

Jonathan told them he really needed a drink and even said the manager could accompany him to the shelves but they still refused to let him in.

The following day, Jonathan’s parents made an official complaint to Morrisons head office.

Mr Burns said: “I am furious. My son only wanted a drink. How did the manager know he doesn’t have a medical condition? He told him to go elsewhere such as the petrol station across the road, but is he really going to cross the A1?

“They told us they have been having issues with theft. Kids in uniform taking things which are prohibited and then selling them at schools. Morrisons is a big company and there are ways to deal with theft.

“If they know which schools are involved, why can’t they just ban them? It’s a really severe punishment for everyone.”

Jonathan visits the store regularly and it is believed the rule was brought in a couple of weeks ago. Schoolchildren are allowed in if they are accompanied by an adult.

Mr Burns says he will not be shopping at the Morrisons store anymore.

A spokeswoman for Morrisons said: “These decisions are difficult but are made at the discretion of the store manager who has to ensure that we aren't a target for young shoplifters.”