A disabled woman’s mother has explained how her daughter was ‘thrown from a pub for being disabled’. Jenny Skelton recently vented her frustrations through a Facebook status explaining how herself and adopted daughter Charlie were ejected from ‘The Mash Tun’ pub after her daughter had cowered to the floor due to her surprise from the loud music in the venue.
Charlie now 19, has two chromosome abnormalities which according to Jennie makes her ‘very innocent, child-like’ whilst simultaneously desiring to be a teenager. Charlie who has worked hard on developing a large vocabulary at present cannot read or write.
‘Anyone who has met Charlie will know that she is one of the sweetest people you could ever wish to meet,’ Jenny writes.
‘She fits in anywhere, and when she is with me and my friends, she chats away (usually about Justin Bieber!) or quietly plays on her iPad.’
Jenny and Charlie had been out having a meal and had wished to continue their evening by enjoying a drink outside the pub.
‘There was only one customer in the pub as everyone else was sitting outside on the benches. As we were being served, I suddenly noticed that Charlie was crouching quietly (i.e. not making a sound) on the floor with her hands over her ears.
‘I was surprised as it is not something I have seen her do before and she said it was because a sudden burst of loud music had startled her.’
Whilst Jenny was asking Charlie to stand up, the barman took no time in asking the teenager to leave.
‘I was shocked and explained that she was disabled, that the music had temporarily scared her but that she was okay now/ He insisted that she would have to leave because he couldn’t have someone doing that in a pub’.
Jenny who has come to know the full extent of Charlie’s rights through the Equality Act tried to explain to the barman due to this piece of legislation it is impossible for companies to discriminate against those with disabilities. Upon her explanation of this she was also asked to leave.
‘Of course I feel angry, but more than that, I feel extremely saddened; saddened that what had been a lovely evening was turned around so quickly but more saddened that Charlie had not been allowed to do what other people can do because she is disabled.
‘She was so distraught but what happened that she is still crying about it the following morning. She keeps saying that everyone hates her, that everything is her fault, that she wants to die and that she wishes she wasn’t disabled.
‘It is heartbreaking and totally unjust. How sad and how very un-Brighton.’
After Jenny’s post went viral, management from the Mash Tun in turn used their Facebook account to apologise, stating the barman in question had been sacked.
‘We have now fully investigated what happened on Sunday evening at the Mash Tun,’ they wrote.
‘The staff member concerned and the management team have mutually agreed that the staff member is to leave the Mash Tun with immediate effect.
‘It was a terrible mistake and we are now attempting to correct so it does not happen again.’
Although they argue the decision was based upon an interpretation of licensing laws the decision was still ‘ill-judged’ and ‘discriminatory’.
‘Enable Me’ a user-led charity, is now working with the pub to educate their team in disability awareness.
‘We ask people to understand there was no premeditation and malice in this incident and we hope we can help Jenny in raising awareness off the back of our truly regrettable mistake.’
‘Above all, Charlie – we’re sorry, we’re learning and you’re always welcome.’
Jenny has also since been contacted by Enterprise Inns and Laine Pub Company who jointly own the Mash Tun to apologise.