I’m fuming after a pub refused to serve my disabled son a pint to celebrate his 18th birthday – it’s discrimination
A FURIOUS dad has slammed his village pub as he claims they refused to serve his disabled son a pint on his 18th birthday.
Jim Green, from Wimborne, Dorset, has accused the landlord of this village pub of “blatant discrimination in its worst form” and refuses to give up “fighting” for his son’s right to have a pint.
The single dad has been a regular punter at The Dorset Soldier in Corfe Mullen for six years but has not stepped foot in there since December last year.
Jim said the pub landlord is refusing to serve his son Hadyn, 18, alcohol, something that he believes is “blatant discrimination”.
Hadyn, who turned 18 on December 12, last year, has autism and global development delay.
He has been a regular in the pub along with his dad and the venue was booked to celebrate his milestone birthday, on December 17.
Jim said: “It was around a week before Hadyn’s party and I was in the pub talking to Geoff, the landlord.
“I mentioned to him that I might limit Hadyn to two pints on his birthday, and then he said to me that he might not be able to serve him at all.”
The shocked dad responded and said that he “would have to serve him as he will be 18 years old” but after leaving the pub the heated exchange continued over text.
PopplestonAllen, the largest firm of licensing solicitors in the UK state on their website: “Common law states that a licensee can refuse service to anyone he or she chooses, provided the refusal is not on grounds of sex, race, disability, gender, sexual orientation and religion or belief.”
Landlord Geoffrey Mockford stood by his decision stating in a text that “Hadyn is not a normal 18-year-old and has a “lower mental capacity for his years”.
He went on to say that giving alcohol to the teenager would be “like giving alcohol to a 9-year-old” and that he had to show “due diligence” as he “did not want to risk his license”.
Hadyn’s party went ahead on December, 18, as Jim said being so close to Christmas it was too late to change the venue, but claims that his son was not served any alcohol.
He said: “I went to order two pints of lager, one for me and one for Hadyn, and I was told that one of them would have to be a shandy if it was for Hadyn.
“I told them that it was not right but they wouldn’t budge so we had his party and just haven’t been back since.
“I just think it’s blatant discrimination, we don’t have a problem in other pubs we go into.
“Other landlords don’t have a problem it’s just Geoff.
“I am going to keep fighting for Hadyn, because if I don’t who else is going to?
“He misses going to the pub, and it has had a detrimental effect on him as we have friends who we don’t see now, and he thinks it’s his fault.”
Jim added that even though Hadyn has some disabilities he is capable of making decisions for himself, and he is aware of the effects that alcohol can have on people.
He said: “He has been in the pub with me when the football has been on and he has seen people getting drunk and he is aware of the consequences of drinking too much.
“He won’t be drinking on his own anyway, I will always be with him.”
When approached for comment Landlord of the pub Geoffrey Mockford said: “I am just exercising my right as a licensee, I can refuse to serve anyone I don’t have to give a reason, it’s the law.
“He was drinking on his 18th birthday, and I have not refused him service.
“I just think he should be having shandy rather than lager.
“I have got to think of customers as well as him, I am just doing my job, he could be a danger to himself and others.
“He has a mental age of 8/9 years old I don’t understand why as a responsible parent you would want to encourage him to have alcohol.”
Jim also contacted the brewery Hall and Woodhouse, who as well as The Dorset Soldier own a number of other venues across the South East.
They responded to his concerns and said that “ultimately the designated premises supervisor has to make a decision on serving customers and does have a wider responsibility to individuals and the wider public”.
In an email sent to Jim they state that “Hadyn is welcome at the pub” and they “support” Geoff’s view as it appears to be “in line with the licensing objectives, and not based on discrimination.”
WHAT ARE THE RULES?
Licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen state on their website:
“There is a common law right to refuse entry to whom he/her chooses, provided the refusal is not on grounds of sex, race, disability, gender, sexual orientation and religion or belief. Being refused actual entry to premises is a simple extension of the right of refusal to serve.”