A WOMAN has claimed that a city centre phone repair shop worker rifled through years of her private pictures, including snaps of her in a bikini.

The woman, who is in her late 20s and wished not to be named, said she broke down into tears in the middle of The Mobile Doctor, The Shambles after discovering the worker had delved through her iPhone while it was in for repair on Saturday (November 13).

After being caught in the act, the employee, who had previously told her he was a married man of 13 years, allegedly grabbed her phone and purse, scratching her hand in the process.

He then brazenly refused to give it back until she agreed to pay the £85 fee. 

She said: "I dropped my phone off around 9am and was told that it would take around two hours, so I went to have a look around the shops and look at a couple of other phones in case mine couldn't be fixed.

"At around 10.30am I thought I'd check back to see if it was ready.

"As soon as I walked in, I saw him lock my phone and put it to the side, but I saw my wallpaper, so I knew it was mine.

"I asked whether my phone was ready, and he told me it would be another hour as someone had to come and finish repairing the frame.

"But I knew he'd been on my phone, so I asked for it back, swiped up to see my most recent tabs and saw that he was looking through all my photographs from years ago. 

"Some of them were personal to me. Pictures that you should be able to have on your own device, and I'm sure many people do. 

"There were pictures of me in bikinis, and I could see that he'd been looking at them.

"I felt disgusted and was in total shock, I could not believe what was happening.

"It wasn't even just about the pictures - you have passwords, bank details, personal information and all sorts saved on your phone.

"I trusted that with the shop, so for that to happen was completely unacceptable."

After an elderly couple flagged down a nearby police officer, he checked the shop's CCTV cameras to confirm that the employee had been going through her phone.

She says the officer told her that footage showed the man searching through her pictures for as long as 15 minutes until she discovered him in the act.

While the officer said it wasn't a criminal offence as the man hadn't appeared to have transferred anything from her phone, he was strongly advised to give her a full refund.

But she says that a refund falls a long way short of compensating for the damage that the incident caused her. 

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else," she continued. 

"It has really affected me to know what he saw and to know what could potentially be out there. 

"This might not be the first time he's done it, it might just be the first time he's been unlucky enough to have been caught."

We contacted The Mobile Doctor to ask whether they had taken any action against the member of staff in question.

A spokesman for the business said: "We have resolved the issue in the presence of Police."