A homeless woman who defecated in a street says she committed the crime because there weren’t any public toilets open at the time.
Patricia McDaid, 37 of no fixed address, was in Bedford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for a charge of outraging public decency after carrying out the act on July 31.
The court was told that at 9.30am a builder was working on scaffolding in Hassett Street in Bedford Town Centre when he saw McDaid squatting and then urine flowing away. When he got down from the structure he noticed faeces and toilet paper and called over a PCSO describing McDaid and her actions as ‘disgusting’.
Police caught up with her and when questioned she claimed that she did so because there were no public lavatories open at the time.
Andy Brumhill, defending, told the court she was struggling to find any public toilets that were open.
Magistrates heard that McDaid was convicted of a similar offence in 2005. She pleaded guilty to her latest charge.
The court handed her a 12- month conditional discharge and ordered her to pay £85 in court costs.
Last month Bedfordshire on Sunday reported how half the public conveniences in the town centre had been closed with residents worried it would create ‘public health issues’. Bedford Borough Council, in charge of the town’s public conveniences, hit back at McDaid’s excuse for committing the offence. A spokesman said: “Defecating in the street is completely unacceptable and is not something any members of the public should expect to witness.
“Any attempt to excuse this criminal act, which took place around the corner from the Allhallows public toilets by the bus station, through reference to the location of toilets in Bedford Town Centre is clearly utterly absurd.”