Asda 'deeply sorry' for selling 'mental patient' fancy dress costume

The costume as it appeared on Asda's George website. Photo: Asda

Supermarket giant Asda has been forced to apologise for advertising a fancy dress outfit featuring someone covered in blood and brandishing a machete as a "mental patient fancy dress costume".

The Halloween costume, which is designed to look like a blood-splattered straitjacket with ragged edges, was on sale for £20 through the supermarket's clothing arm George.

Read: Tesco apologise for 'Psycho Ward' costume

Many took to Twitter to express their disgust at the description including former footballer Stan Collymore, who has a well-documented battle with depression.

He tweeted: "Dear ASDA, nice stereotype of " Mental patients". Something you'd expect from the ###. A f###ing joke."

Read: Charity hopes outcry will make other retailers withdraw the 'mental patient' outfit

He added:

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Do you actually realise how many people are hanging themselves because of being frightened of the stigma?Wording is CLEAR. MENTAL PATIENT

"Everyone will be running away from you in fear in this mental patient fancy dress costume," the website said. Credit: Asda

Former spin doctor Alastair Campbell, who has also suffered from the illness, wrote on the microblogging site:

Katie Dalton of Welsh mental health charity Gofal also wrote on Twitter:

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Dear @asda, did you take 1 second to consider how it would affect the 1 in 4 people who experience mental health problems in any given year?

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Dear @asda, did you take 1 second to consider how it would affect the 1 in 4 people who experience mental health problems in any given year?

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Dear @asda, I'm really angry/disappointed/appalled. Dear followers, you're all ace for tweeting your outrage. #EndStigma

No one from Asda was immediately available for comment but, in response to a barrage of tweets, the store's official account apologised and promised to make a donation to a mental health charity:

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We're deeply sorry one of our fancy dress costumes has upset people. This was an unacceptable error - the product was withdrawn immediately.

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We'd like to offer our sincere apologies for the offence it's caused and will be making a sizeable donation to @mindcharity.