STORE detectives at the TK Maxx in Port Glasgow were left red-faced after falsely accusing a couple of stealing Harry Potter merchandise.

Liz McIntyre and her husband George were stunned when staff from the retail park outlet accosted them over an item that wasn't even for sale in the shop.

George, 50, had bought a Potter mug set in nearby Aldi before going to see Liz, who was browsing in TK Maxx, and he popped it in her handbag.

Suspicious staff then followed the innocent couple into Watt Brothers and accosted Liz, telling her she was being detained for 'shoplifting'.

Liz, 56 — who says she was 'bubbling up' at the spurious allegation — told the Tele: "My whole stomach just heaved.

"It just didn't register at first.

"After I was allowed to leave and get back to the car I was really upset.

"I felt like the wind had been knocked from by sails."

George told how TK Maxx then had him feeling 'mugged off' by offering him and his wife a derisory £6.99 voucher as compensation for the blunder.

He said: "It was a pathetic gesture.

"They were full of apologies and saying that people make mistakes, but my wife was a mess.

"Thankfully I still had the receipt for my mug from Aldi.

"Otherwise who knows how long her ordeal would have lasted."

The incident happened shortly after 2pm as the couple — who were staying at their holiday home at Gourock's Cloch Caravan Park — were enjoying a day out in the Port.

George said: "All I did was buy the mug in Aldi and I met Liz and put it in her bag in TK Maxx.

"How on earth could anyone think it was stolen when it came from another shop?

"We were in Watt Brothers looking at sunglasses and someone just suddenly tapped Liz on the shoulder and accused her of being a thief.

"To offer a £6.99 voucher was like a slap in the face, and they said it would be an emailed one and we'd have to wait before it could be activated.

"They may have apologised but this has not been resolved as far as I'm concerned."

A TK Maxx spokesperson said: "We were concerned to hear about Mr and Mrs McIntyre's experience.

"Our customers are our top priority and we aim to treat all customers with dignity and respect.

"We take matters of this nature extremely seriously and regret that our procedures were not followed on this occasion.

"We have sincerely apologised to our customer."