A suspected drug dealer who hid a stash of Class A drugs inside his body when he was arrested has been in custody for three weeks because he refuses to go to the toilet, police have said.
Essex Police’s Operation Raptor West unit arrested the man – thought to be from a London gang – on 16 January, and charged him with two counts of intent to supply the drugs.
Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court granted the force permission to keep him in detention until he revealed the goods, initially for 190 hours, but officers say he refused to eat or accept that he would not be released until he went to the loo.
“#Howlongcanyougo,” tweeted the @OpRaptorWest account, as day four approached.
Once the suspect had spent a week in a cell, the force had to return to court to request further custody time.
“The one person preventing this from being resulted is the defendant himself,” said the prosecution.
Another six days went by without any sign of an update on what by then had been dubbed “#PooWatch”, with the suspect also refusing to consent to a doctor removing the drugs from his body.
On day 16, police were back in court to request another week of custody, which again was granted.
But by day 19, officers appeared to be growing increasingly frustrated, with @OpRaptorWest tweeting: “Male doesn’t seem to understand that eventually he will need/have to go.”
On Tuesday, with thousands of followers having waited with bated breath, they tweeted: “Day 20 is coming to an end and still no movement, sorry for the delay in updates the team are busy covering this and other ongoing investigations #opraptor #PooWatch.”
Police have assured the public that the man has been monitored by doctors throughout his toilet strike, and that so far he has not exhibited any health concerns.
But medical advice site WebMD advises against going longer than three days, with it becoming more difficult to pass the longer you go without doing so.