Free lunch for disabled man ‘kicked out’ of Bognor Subway

Andrew Pickthall outside the Subway restaurant in Bognor Regis
Andrew Pickthall outside the Subway restaurant in Bognor Regis

The boss of Subway in Bognor Regis has apologised to a disabled man who was denied the use of the store’s toilet.

Andrew Pickthall, 37, who has down’s syndrome, said he was left ‘upset and cross’ when he came into the High Street store ‘bursting to go to the loo’ but was told by a member of staff he would have to buy lunch first.

It happened on Wednesday, April 20, and following a story on the Observer’s website, a number of people offered their support to Andrew, who lives in West Meads.

Now the franchisee of the Bognor branch has said sorry, and invited Andrew back in for a complementary lunch.

Jason Duff said: “Firstly I would like to give a sincere apology to Andrew for what happened.

“It is not our policy to stop people who are in need from using our facilities.

“I’m not sure what went wrong, it was a mistake rather than our policy, but regardless of that we are sorry it happened.

“We would like to invite Andrew to come into our store and have a lunch on us. We want everyone to feel comfortable when they visit us and Andrew is a valued regular customer.”

When speaking to the Observer last week, Andrew described how he was ‘kicked out’ from the restaurant when he arrived in town by bus following an appointment at Bognor Hospital.

He said: “I took my own bottle of drink with me.

“I finished the drink on the bus and the next minute I was bursting to go (to the) toilet.

“I went into Subway, I went to go (to the) toilet and a man properly kicked me out.

“He was staff and he said if I want to use loo I have to buy lunch.”

Andrew had to wait for another bus to take him back to his home in West Meads before he could relieve himself.

Andrew said he was left ‘upset, cross’ by the incident, and had said he didn’t feel that he could return to the Bognor Subway, one of his favourite restaurants.

After the store’s apology, Andrew has indicated that he would like to take Subway up on their offer of lunch.

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