Crohn’s Disease sufferer turned away from toilet at Wilkinsons in Dewsbury

PLEA FOR COMPASSION: Crohn's Disease sufferer Dave Jewitt was told he couldn't use the toilet in Wilkinsons. (d06031205)
PLEA FOR COMPASSION: Crohn's Disease sufferer Dave Jewitt was told he couldn't use the toilet in Wilkinsons. (d06031205)
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SHOP staff refused to let a man with a bowel condition use store facilities when he urgently needed the toilet.

Dave Jewitt, who suffers from Crohn’s Disease, said he was clearly in distress when he asked to use a toilet at Wilkinsons in Dewsbury. But staff turned him away, saying the toilets were not open to the public.

Mr Jewitt said: “My main concern with this particular incident was that the way I was treated was awful. It was quite clear I was in distress and there was no sympathy at all.

“They said there was a public toilet in the market, but I just knew I wouldn’t make it.”

Fortunately, Sea Urchin Fish Restaurant staff were more understanding and Mr Jewitt reached the facilities in time.

Mr Jewitt, of Overthorpe Avenue, Thornhill, said: “It’s embarrassing at any age, but to be messing yourself at 51 is not a nice thing.”

He decided to speak publicly about his experience to raise awareness among other retailers in the town.

“I’d like to see a great understanding,” he said. “It’s the urgency that’s the key.”

He praised staff at MacDonalds and Asda in Dewsbury for offering help in the past.

He said: “The staff at Asda were unbelievable. They couldn’t do enough for me.”

Mr Jewitt hopes local health services might run a free card scheme giving sufferers information to show in emergencies.

Although he said a national card, for which a fee is charged, was not always recognised.

Wilkinsons has since apologised and offered a gift card.

It said his request to use the toilet was reluctantly refused because of security issues and customer safety.

A spokesman said: “Where toilets were offered as a customer facility we had numerous incidents of vandalism, and it was with this in mind that the decision not to offer facilities was made.”

Mr Jewitt said: “I fully understand what Wilkinson’s are saying about vandalism, but it was quite clear I was upset.”