A MUM has spoken of her disgust after a village shop tried to hike up prices of medication and cleaning products, as retailers were warned not to overcharge because of the coronavirus crisis.

Mother-of-two Elizabeth Jackson and husband Daniel, of Darlington, wanted to buy painkillers and handwash but couldn't find any in their nearest supermarket. They decided to try a village shop but were outraged when they discovered a packet of paracetamol cost £4.50 and handwash was a staggering £9.

She said: "I was disgusted that some shop owners are making a huge profit selling items that families need because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“My husband made it clear he wasn't going to pay those prices and how outrageous it was. The shopkeeper wasn't bothered.

“I've since learned the same shop charged an old lady £11 for handwash and there are similar stories up and down the North East. Some shop owners just don't care.”

There have been reports of people selling in-demand products like toilet roll and baby milk formula online, for vastly increased prices.

Earlier this week, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said sellers must not try and “take advantage of people”, stating retailers and traders inflating prices could face prosecution.

The CMA said it would consider writing to the Government to implement pricing measures for certain products if problems arise.

In a statement, the watchdog said it wants to “ensure that traders do not exploit the current situation to take advantage of people”.

However, with pressure on supply chains some independent traders have said that wholesale prices have gone up, forcing them to pass the price change on until normal service resumes.

Mrs Jackson added: “I am delighted at the news that retailers who vastly inflate the cost of goods to make a huge profit during the crisis could be prosecuted.

“We are fortunate that we drive and can go to different shops to find goods but for people, like the elderly, their local shop is a lifeline."