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.”