STAFF at a charity shop refused to give an injured pensioner a coat to keep him warm – because it hadn’t been paid for.
The 65-year-old man fell and cut his head after he had a fit outside Clarks, in Upper Arundel Street, Landport, Portsmouth.
A group of four passers-by who saw what happened rang for an ambulance and went into the nearby British Heart Foundation charity shop to get a pillow and a sheet to stop him getting cold.
After realising the elderly man needed something more suitable, the group went back and asked whether they could have a coat.
But they were left stunned after the manager said it wasn’t part of the shop’s policy to give out stock unless it was paid for.
The incident happened at 11.30am on Friday, January 11.
Bill Richards, 67, of Wokingham, Berkshire, was on a two-day break in Portsmouth when he saw the group being turned away.
‘I was amazed when they came out of the charity shop and said they weren’t allowed the coat,’ Mr Richards said.
‘It’s absolutely disgusting. I don’t understand how a charity shop wouldn’t help.
‘People would be glad to see the stock which they donate going towards such a worthwhile cause.’
Diane Locke, deputy retail director for The British Heart Foundation, said: ‘We’d like to offer our sincere apologies for any distress caused to the gentleman that fell over.
‘Although the staff at our Portsmouth shop provided a pillow and a sheet to help in his time of need, we’re disappointed to hear that he was not also given a coat.
‘We will be reviewing our communication to staff following this incident to ensure this doesn’t happen again and wish the gentleman a full recovery.’
James Keating-Wilkes of South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘We were called shortly after 11.30am to a 65-year-old man who was described as fitting and bleeding from the head.
‘We sent out a double-manned ambulance and the patient was then taken to QA Hospital Cosham, for treatment.’