A WOMAN branded a racist following a spat in an Iceland supermarket with an elderly customer has written apologising for any distress she may have caused after an internet backlash left her scared to leave her home.

Police appealed for witnesses in the wake of the incident on July 26 at the Havelock Square store in which they said the victim was racially abused.

The woman, who does not want to be identified, told the Advertiser she contacted the Wiltshire force the same day the appeal appeared online, having woken up and seen comments under the story describing her as a racist.

She denied the allegation but said she apologised because she wanted to put the incident to bed after becoming frightened by the backlash.

Now she wants to leave Swindon with her family and make a fresh start elsewhere. “I can’t keep living in fear,” she said.

A police spokeswoman said: “The suspect involved in this incident was spoken to by the officer in the case as soon as possible and following discussions with the victim, it was agreed that this incident would be dealt with out of court by way of community resolution. In this instance, the resolution was a letter of apology.”

The mother of four, who is alleged to have used racist language towards a white woman in her 70s and rammed a pushchair into her legs, said she was horrified by the accusations. “It’s just not in my character or nature to do what I have been accused of.”

And when she rang the police she was told she would have to wait until the following week because there was no one available to talk to her.

Wiltshire Police confirmed to the Advertiser the officer investigating the case was off.

“I pleaded with them every day until someone took pity on me to listen to what I had to say,” she said. “Imagine being accused for over a week of being something that you despise.”

She accepted she later wrote a note to the customer saying: “I’m sorry if I caused you any upset.”

But she insisted it was only because she wanted to put it behind her. “I can’t believe it has got to this stage,” she said. “I have been petrified to leave my house with my kids.

“This situation has led to me making the decision to leave Swindon so that me and my kids can have a fresh start. I would never want to set that example for my kids and definitely not in front of them.”

She added: “This has had a big impact on my life,”