A man who spent 17 hours locked in a public toilet on Christmas Day has won his claim for compensation. The man had been out jogging in Dulwich Park on Christmas Eve when he went in to the public toilet at 4:30pm to use the facilities. While he was in a cubicle the attendant locked the door to the toilets and went home from his shift. With no mobile phone to ring for help, and only the running clothes he was wearing to keep him warm, the jogger spent the night underneath the hand dryer wrapped in toilet roll for warmth. He was eventually released at 9:30am Christmas Day morning having missed his family opening their Christmas presents.
Southwark council have agreed to pay the man his claim for compensation and admits that mistakes were made. The toilet attendant – who was on a temporary contract and is no longer employed by the council – failed to check that all the cubicles were empty before locking the door. Southwark Councillor Linda Manchester admitted that “the importance of making thorough checks of cubicles has been re-iterated to all members of the parks locking team.” The amount of compensation the jogger will receive is still being decided but the council reiterated its desire to recompense him for the distress he was caused.