A Tourette's sufferer who can’t help calling people “cheeky monkey” was thrown out of a shop after staff said he was making silly noises.

Ben Gerrard’s condition forces him to make sudden involuntary movements and to blurt out words without warning.

But after suffering a bout of tics in Aird and Co tool shop in Bond Street, Brighton, on Wednesday afternoon, the 40- year-old was ordered to leave by owner Bob Carey.

Furious Mr Gerrard said he was “utterly appalled” by the incident, which left him shaken and angry.

He said: “I was on my way back from work and I decided to pop in to look for some tools.

“When I’m tired the Tourette’s kicks in, so I started grunting and making a few noises, talking to myself. I couldn’t help it.

“But suddenly the guy said I was disturbing him and told me to leave the shop. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”

Mr Gerrard told the owner he had Tourette’s and was not making the noises deliberately but the shopkeeper was unmoved.

He said: “It’s a disgrace that a man of his age could be so cruel. I was so shocked.”

Born in Paris, Mr Gerard has lived in England for 21 years and in Brighton for the last four.

His lifelong condition forces him to say phrases including “cheeky monkey” and “red sandals” at regular intervals.

Mr Gerrard said people in the city were “generally OK” about his condition, but that he was still regularly the target of teasing and occasionally serious abuse.

Mr Carey, who runs Aird and Co tool shop, said he had been “perfectly entitled” to throw Mr Gerrard out of his shop.

He said: “He was being disruptive. I know what Tourette’s is but there’s no excuse for just making silly noises.

“He didn’t seem to have any need to be there. We had other customers in the shop and he was causing a disturbance.

“I found it distressing and I asked him to leave.”