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Judge rules that urinating in public is legal – would you do it?

by | 15th, May 2012

NEWS from Wheddon Cross, Somerset, where John and Cherry Pusey wanted the council to shut a lay-by close to their home because motorists were pulling over and taking a wazz. The court heard that 171 people – count them – has stopped to wee and/or poo in the lay-by in 2011. The court did not agree with the pro-decency Puseys.

So they took the matter further.

At the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Ward considered the argument, and found that urinating in public is not “cumulatively intolerable”. Why? Because, he says, the act was not “obviously visible” from the Pusey’s home. You have to crane your neck to see.

So. Going to the toilet in public is fine.

Only, it wasn’t fine when Philip Laing widdled on a Sheffield war memorial in 2009. District Judge Anthony Browne ordered Laing to do 250 hours community service.

Raymond Boyd Martin, managing director of the British Toilet Association, which represents the UK lavatory industry, tells the BBC:

“It’s always anti-social. It has to be wrong in this day and age. There’s no reason in the 21st Century we should have to do this. If you are making a journey you should be planning where and when you are going to stop – in restaurants, in hotels or in petrol stations.”

This works best if you’re Alex Ferguson and able to use the motorway’s hard shoulder to reach your preferred toilet. In 1999, the Manchester United manager was cleared of guilty of illegally driving on a motorway hard shoulder because he said he needed the toilet. He told the court:

“When I got on the M602 I started to feel the cramps again. When I got into the snarl-up of traffic I took another [Imodium] tablet. I stayed there for about four or five minutes. I then decided to try and get back to Old Trafford…I had to go somewhere quickly.”

Oh, for the simple joy of a familiar potty. Why would condemn him for seeking out his own private seat?

And then Ferguson’s main man, Wayne Rooney, was caught out taking a leak in a Manchester street. Not long ago, this Cambridge student urinated before the camera on the city’s Jesus Green. And did anyone who watched football in the 1980s ever make it to the toilet? The old Wembley Stadium was Wembley-on-water by the time the match was over and the fans had left. The corrugated iron wall at the back of Arsenal’s old North Bank was the ‘gentlemen’s club’ amid a sea of other’s people’s pockets.

Still, Boyd Martin, champion of man-made toilets, adds:

“At the end of the day it’s about decency. This is someone exposing themselves in a public place.”

Is having a wee the same as exposing yourself? Surely, it all depends how you’re doing it.

In any case, human wee is not the scourge of modern life: dog poo is. The stuff is everywhere. Just yesterday, I saw a well-dressed, middle-aged woman let her dog poo freely on the grass verge by the pavement. A passer-by asked her why she didn’t pick it up. She told him it was rainy and he should “f*ck off”. He resisted all urge to pick up and rub it on her. And then what of pet cats that just crap anywhere they like?

Is pet poo worse than human poo? Or is it all disgusting?



Posted: 15th, May 2012 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink