More than 1,000 people on Facebook have rallied behind a Bognor mum left distraught by a stranger’s hugely offensive comment about her disabled son.
Amy Standen was watching the new Paddington film at Bognor Picturedrome on Saturday with eight-year-old son Rhys, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
Amy, 28, said: “We were in the Picturedrome in Bognor and my little boy, who’s disabled, was being a bit noisy.
“I was then told by a gentleman behind me to ‘shut my little spastic up’.
“I just couldn’t believe it.
“I didn’t even give him the time of day, I just got up and left without saying anything or even looking at him.
“The Picturedrome staff were amazing, I was just inconsolable, sobbing my eyes out.
“In eight years I’ve never heard that word used before.
“The staff were incredible, they said ‘if you want me us to throw him out we will’ but I didn’t want to make a scene and for him to know how much he’d upset me.
“They gave Rhys some toys and calmed him down, he didn’t have a clue what was going on.”
Amy posted her awful experience on her Facebook page and it has gone viral, with more than 1,000 comments expressing disgust at the unidentified man’s actions.
Amy said: “The response has been fantastic, I’ve had an offer from someone living in Australia who says she would pay for flights for us to come and stay with her.
“This Friday Rhys is going to be a fireman for the day at Bognor Regis Fire Station after a fireman read the post and got in touch, the support has been incredible.”
She added: “It seemed to be a whole day of it, I was in the hairdressers where we always go and he was playing up a bit and a lady said ‘why do you bring him places like this when he’s like that’.
“I was getting stared at and sniggered at before going to the cinema.
“While we were there it’s not even like he was being that loud, he was mostly laughing with an older couple next to us and enjoying himself.”
Amy added: “People have said I should have punched him or should go to police but I just wanted to leave.
“We were sitting in the disabled spot in the Picturedrome so he must have known.”
The Observer considered carefully whether it should reprint the abusive comment that was made.
We decided that the words used were so offensive and unacceptable that we would be doing the mother an injustice if we did not clearly show the abuse that she and her young son received.