A WOMAN has warned parents to keep a firm eye on their children while shopping after she said a man touched himself inappropriately in a supermarket.

Keri Stephens, 32, from Lancing, said she was scared to find a man staring at her four-year-old son before he touched himself in Asda in South Street, Lancing.

Speaking to The Argus, the mother of two said the incident, which happened at about 1.25pm on Thursday left her feeling physically sick.

She said: “My son and I went to Asda in Lancing to pick up some shopping and I was looking down one side of the aisle and I had this really strange feeling of someone being quite close to me behind.

“I turned around and this guy was staring at my son, and he didn’t even acknowledge the fact I clocked him.

“The man just kept staring at my son.

“He did not even look at me and I just felt this sense of unease straight away.

“I then pulled my son in front of me so this man could not see him and he sort of shuffled around me to look at him again.

“I was really frozen and did not know what to do, then he ended up close to me and I realised he was doing something inappropriate on the outside of his trousers.

“He was definitely playing with himself properly and I looked back about three times and he was still doing it.”

The teaching assistant, who lives in Lancing, said she immediately alerted staff.

But they told her there was nothing they could do as they had no security guards on.

She then left the store and phoned the police once she got home.

She added: “I just felt vulnerable at that point and felt let down, it didn’t seem like anyone was bothered.

“I just burst into tears.

“I later posted it to Facebook because I have a lot of mum friends in the area and I wanted to let them know to be aware.”

She said police had not seen the man’s actions on CCTV when they looked at it.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “A man was reported to be behaving suspiciously by a woman who was shopping with her four-year-old son in Asda.

“The woman was in the shop around 1.40pm on Thursday, February 8, when she saw the man touching himself inappropriately.

“He is described, around 60, 5ft 10in, wearing a dark brown or black coat, a black bowler hat and thin-framed spectacles.

“Anyone with information about the incident is asked to report online at sussex.police.uk/appealresponse or call 101 quoting serial 607 of 08/02.”

Asda declined to comment.