Barnstaple mum’s anger after finding drug paraphernalia in park toilets while with three-year-old son

The toilets outside Pilton Park.

The toilets outside Pilton Park. - Credit: Matt Smart

A Barnstaple mum says she forced two men to clear up a park toilet when she found they had been using it to take drugs.

Amy Paddon was taking her three-year-old son Charlie to Pilton Park on Wednesday morning when the youngster told her he needed to visit the toilet.

When the two men had finished using the only available cubicle, Amy went in to find drug paraphernalia such as foil and needle packets.

She said the smell in the cubicle meant was so bad she could not let her son go in.

“They started walking out so I went in to check and the fumes were so strong, I had to come out because I’m pregnant myself,” said 27-year-old Amy.

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“I asked them to come and clean it up, and I was hoping the fumes would have gone down.

“There was a roll of foil behind the door. There were no needles but there were packets the needles come in and the lids for them.

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“It was quite obvious they were high and I know what they were doing. They couldn’t even speak to me properly and it stank.”

Amy said she was able to get the men to clean up the toilet, but said she was left angry by the incident.

The run-in meant she had to answer some awkward questions from Charlie.

She said: “They just had no consideration that there are children walking past that may need the toilet.

“That could have been a seven-year-old who may have come across it. The fumes were so strong, I really do think it would affect a child.

“I was really angry. I had to say something to them in front of my son, who had questions about it that I had to answer.

“I had to explain to him that he couldn’t go in there because the men were being naughty.”

The toilets are owned by North Devon Council, and a sharps bin is provided for paraphernalia such as needles.

Amy said she would have liked to have seen more cubicles open over the Christmas and New Year period.

“Over the Christmas period they’ve only had one open, which means there’s no option to use a different one. We had to wait for them and then we couldn’t go in there,” she said.

“I don’t know how you can stop this though, it’s been going on for years and it’s only getting worse.

“Maybe if they opened a couple of cubicles it might help.”

North Devon Council said it works closely with North Devon and Torridge Community Safety Partnership to prevent antisocial and illegal behaviour such as drug use in its public toilets.

It said members who become aware of such behaviour should contact the partnership team at

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