West Sussex key worker mistakes 5 inch long locust found in town supermarket for Christmas ornament

A West Sussex key worker who discovered a five inch long locust in a town centre supermarket says she mistook it for a Christmas ornament.

Thursday, 24th December 2020, 9:40 am

Briony Velloms-Hodgson, from Horsham, was doing some shopping shortly before Christmas with her husband Rob when she spotted a peculiar looking decoration on the shelf.

The 54-year-old college worker said: “It was sat on an artichoke ornament in with all the other figures of mainly reindeer and robins.

“At first I thought it was an ornament you could buy. We realised it was moving and my husband just picked up the box.”

Rob and Briony Velloms-Hodgson. Inset, the locust they found in Horsham Sainsbury's

Lorry driver Rob, 53, added: “I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was lost for words.”

Briony said the insect was ‘a good five inches long’.

She added: “We thought where the hell has it come from. We just guess it probably came out of the vegetables.

“We were absolutely shocked. That’s not the sort of thing you expect to see as you look at ornaments.

Briony said she thought the locust was a Christmas ornament at first

“It made our shopping trip really.”

Locusts aren’t local to the UK, according to Briony. She said she believes the insect must have travelled to England from abroad.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s said: “As soon as our colleagues were made aware of an insect browsing the homeware aisle, they safely removed it from the store. We hope it didn’t ‘bug’ other customers.”