Thursday, 17 October 2019

Man who ripped suit offered replacement

Man who ripped suit offered replacement

A MAN who ripped his dinner jacket on a parking meter in Henley has been offered a replacement by the manufacturer.

Alastair Johnson, of West Street, tore a 2in hole in the left sleeve of his £300 Charles Tyrwhitt suit while walking along Thames Side in July.

He was on his way to watch Tom Odell performing at the Henley Festival when he sidestepped to avoid a group of people who were coming the other way and snagged it on a sharp metal edge. This was originally covered by a plastic guard but it had fallen off.

Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, denied his claim for compensation but the suit company has said he can exchange the suit for a new one after reading thre story on the Standard’s website.

In a message to Mr Johnson, a Charles Tyrwhitt spokesman said: “We just read about what happened to your suit. Meters, cash machines, vending machines and such urban paraphernalia can be terrible nuisances.

“We commend you for fighting for your beliefs. However, if this hassle is also making you contemplate life’s short span, we’ll be thrilled to take this weight off your back by replacing your suit.”

Mr Johnson said: “It’s fantastic news and I’m really thankful as I’d given up on getting anything from the council. I visited Citizens Advice in Market Place and they very quickly concluded it wasn’t worth pursuing.”

The story sparked debate when it was posted online with some commenters supporting Mr Johnson and others saying he should not be trying to claim public money.

Mr Johnson said: “An old work colleague of mine got in touch to say ‘you’ve gone viral’ so I had a look.

“Some people were saying that £300 wasn’t a lot for someone to spend on a suit in Henley. Quite a few were critical but it’s important that we’ve all got freedom of speech. It seems to have come full circle as at least the council has put a new guard on that sharp edge.”

The council said it couldn’t be held responsible for a chance accident and its meters were checked daily.

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