A CHESTER taxi driver who was fined after being caught short and going to the toilet in public has won sympathy from Leader readers.
Alan Paul Goff, 49, was caught on camera stopping his car and defecating outside an industrial unit off Lightfoot Street in Hoole, Chester.
Mr Goff, of Kynaston Drive, Saltney Ferry, was subsequently charged with two offences by Cheshire West and Chester Council and summoned before West Cheshire Magistrates’ Court.
He was fined £200 and was ordered to pay £515 in costs after admitting defecation contrary to a bylaw and littering contrary to the Environment Protection Act 1990.
But Mr Goff said he felt like he had been ‘bullied’ by the council as he was willing to pay the fine without going to court.
He said he was caught short owing to side effects from prescription antibiotics he was taking for dental problems.
Leader readers have sympathised with Mr Goff and said his situation highlighted the lack of public toilets now in existence.
‘lindopski’ wrote: “This is what happens when you demolish or lock all the public toilets because you can’t be bothered with the upkeep and cleaning them or dealing with the anti-social behaviour.
“Roll back 30 years and we had toilet attendants in the loos – these days it’s more public ‘in-convenience’ than anything else.”
‘sayitagainsam’ wrote: “There is such a lack of sympathy for this man when he clearly outlined his problem.
“The lack of toilets or ones that are open is an outrage.”
Reader ‘captaindave’ branded the decision to take Mr Goff to court a “disgraceful waste of council taxpayers’ money”.
He wrote: “By my calculation the council is over £1,000 down by bringing this action – would it not have been more prudent to follow some other course of action?
“With the lack of public conveniences, I am surprised more people with medical reasons are not suffering similar embarrassing moments.”
A spokesman for Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “We have a duty to follow up any complaints and that is what happened in this case.
“This is a rare case and we decided the best thing to do was to let the courts decide what action to take.
“We would point out we do not believe Mr Goff’s behaviour is what we would expect from a licensed taxi driver.”