Norwich mother was ‘barricaded’ in disabled toilets by two men in wheelchairs
PUBLISHED: 08:34 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:40 28 December 2017
A woman involved in an argument near the Chapelfield shopping centre disabled toilets has said she was “barricaded” in the cubicle by two men in wheelchairs.
Melanie Miller, from Norwich, said she went to the shopping centre with her children and her mother on December 9.
But during their trip 36-year-old Ms Miller needed to use the bathroom at around 1.50pm.
She said: “I’ve got a condition with my bowel, which basically means when I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go.
“The ladies was queued right up and I wasn’t going to make it. There were two men in wheelchairs having a chat outside the disabled toilets but I saw all three were empty, so I popped into one of them.
“The next thing there was an all-mighty banging, and they had barricaded me in.”
She added: “They said they were not going to let me out.”
Ms Miller said she managed to get her hand around the door and open it.
“But they were just shouting abuse at me, saying I was not disabled,” she said.
The two men eventually moved away from the door, but Ms Miller said she was left “terrified”.
“And what is worse is my 16-year-old daughter has a stoma bag, so she was going to use it too, it could have been her.”
Ms Miller said the incident was a lesson in not assuming every disability was visible.
“I’ve got a rare bowel condition so I am disabled, but I’m not in a wheelchair,” she said.
“Just because you don’t see it does not mean it is not there.”
Norfolk Police have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the argument.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or anyone with information, should contact PC Victoria McDowell at Norwich Police Station on 101.