‘Padiham toilets used for gay sex’: outcry

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A PUBLIC toilet reportedly used for sordid gay sex acts in Padiham town centre has again provoked a wave of anger.

Witnesses claim men are still openly using the gents’ toilets at the side of the town hall as a seedy sex den.

The town centre site has hit the headlines over the years as being a “perverts’ paradise” and, after the latest reports of lurid behaviour in the loos, calls have been made for a police crackdown.

A Padiham worker, who did not want to be named, described men pulling up in cars regularly before disappearing into the toilets together to have sex, a practice known as cottaging.

He said: “We know cottaging goes on in the gents there. The toilets are infamous for it unfortunately.

“I have been here for more than 20 years and it has been happening for more than 20 years. It is going on right in the town centre.

“It is quite worrying. It is not nice to have that sort of thing associated with the town centre.”

He said that innocent people were put off from using the facilities but he hoped police would tackle the long-standing problem.

The toilet is mentioned as a hotspot for illicit sexual encounters on numerous cottaging websites.

One gay “cruising” website, which has had more than 1,000 views, gives a map of the spot and describes the toilets as an “old fashioned cottage” with two cubicles used by all types of people.

The site also names Church Street toilets in Padiham and Altham Woods as popular spots for homosexual activity.

Four men were convicted of committing acts of gross decency in the facilities in 1995 and five years ago a joint operation between Padiham police and Trading Standards saw a haul of pornographic DVDs seized there.

But hopes are that the problem-plagued town hall toilets will now be cleaned up for good.

A police spokesman said: “We are aware of the problem at the site and we are currently looking into ways of dealing with it.”