A 47-YEAR-old man was jailed after getting ‘caught short’ and using a town centre toilet.

Magistrates heard James Lee was banned from The Mall shopping centre in Blackburn under the terms of an anti-social behaviour order.

But he breached the order when he suffered stomach cramps and had to go to the toilet, the court heard.

Gareth Price, defending, said Lee asked at several places for permission to use a toilet but had been refused.

He said the case had echoes of that involving the former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who was cleared of driving illegally in 1999 because he told the court he needed the toilet.

Mr Price said: “Stomach cramps can affect even the great and good, Sir Alex Ferguson being an example.

“My client went into The Mall to use the toilets but was caught on CCTV and arrested. There was no suggestion he was behaving in an anti-social behaviour.

“He wasn’t being abusive, he wasn’t in drink, he was simply caught short in the wrong place.”

Lee, of Whalley Banks, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to breach of an anti-social behaviour order. He was jailed for 18 weeks.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the offence occurred within two weeks of Lee being released from a 136-day prison sentence imposed for breach of the same Asbo.

Miss Allen said: “This was a flagrant breach of the order put in place to prevent him causing a nuisance in a public place.”