A pub has issued an apology after bar staff are said to have laughed at a disabled customer for being ‘too drunk and wobbly’.
Kia Little, 44, states that she felt “intimidated” and “mortified” when employees at the pub told her “you’re all over the place.”
Kia, who struggles to walk due to a spinal fracture, had visited The Discovery Pub in Middlesbrough to “kill a few minutes” before her bus home, Teesside Live reports.
Staff have “sincerely apologized” for the “misunderstanding” and for any distress caused to Kia, while the owner of the venue, Stonegate Group, has said that it takes “all allegations very seriously.”
However Kia, who also has ADHD and Asperger’s, states that the damage has already been done, and she wants to ensure that it does not happen to anyone else.
She claims staff started “making offensive comments” when she walked into the venue on Monday afternoon. She said: “They were saying I was drunk, they were just laughing. My walking is terrible, I struggle to walk. They started to laugh and said ‘you are far too drunk, you are all wobbly, you’re all over the place’.
“I said ‘I’ve got a spinal injury’. There were four of them, all stood behind the bar. I felt really intimidated. I’d popped in to kill a few minutes before getting the bus home.”
Kia, from Boosbeck, says she’d ordered her drinks and “just walked out” after the “shocking” treatment she received. “I was pretty disgusted,” she adds. “I’m waiting for a serious operation, they’re accusing me of all sorts and making a joke out of it. I don’t think disability is a joke. I just didn’t expect to be treated like that, it’s not on.”
“I just felt mortified, it’s really upset me. Staff apologized in a message. They said they made a mistake, but that’s no help afterwards is it?” she added. “I didn’t feel like the apology was very sincere. Even if I’d had a drink, they shouldn’t have been like that. It was like a massive joke to them. I wouldn’t go back if you paid me and I’ll be telling everyone I know.”
“I don’t want this to happen to another disabled person,” she continued. “I also have ADHD Asperger’s so I want to make people aware of more hidden disabilities, which I think is also important.”
The pub messaged Kia admitting “on this occasion, it may have been an error of judgement”. The message said: “We apologize for the misunderstanding and any distress this may have caused.”
A spokesperson for The Discovery said: “We have fully investigated the complaint and have sincerely apologized to the customer for any misunderstanding and for any offense that was caused. We take all allegations very seriously.”
A spokesperson for Cleveland Police confirmed the force had received a report of a hate crime and said “inquiries are ongoing.”
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