Council to investigate after missing pensioner is found unconscious in locked public toilet

Council to investigate after missing pensioner is found unconscious in locked public toilet

An urgent review is to be carried out after a missing pensioner was found unconscious in a locked public toilet.

A police search involving a helicopter was launched after Norma Webster, 78, was reported missing in Forres, Moray, Scotland.

She had last been seen in the town's High Street at about 10.30am on Sunday July 31 and was not found until the morning of Monday August 1 - 21 hours later.

Mrs Webster, who is reported to have suffered a stroke while visiting the facilities in Leys Road, is recovering in hospital.

Her son Martin McDonald, 46, told the Press and Journal newspaper: "The only consolation is that she doesn't remember the whole thing.

"It's horrible to think that she was in there all night.

"Obviously, the toilets have just been locked without anybody checking to see if there was anyone inside."

A Moray Council spokesman said: "The council can only apologise most sincerely to Mrs Webster and her family for what must have been a distressing ordeal for all of them.

"An urgent review of procedures will now be done to ensure that where, as was the case here, we operate toilets in partnership with the local community who open and close them, there is no prospect of a similar incident happening again."

Moray Area Commander Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie said: "Following a report from the family of Mrs Webster during the evening of Sunday 31 July 2016 officers from across Moray, including specialist resources were involved in an extensive search for Mrs Webster.

"We carried out searches around her home, the areas she was last seen and where she was thought to frequent.

"Whilst the public toilets in Leys Road came within this area we worked under the assumption that when the toilets were locked they were checked, clearly that was not the case this time. It is a very tragic set of circumstances."

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