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KFC refuse to turn down music distressing disabled girl

Leila
Leila Image credit: liverpoolecho.co.uk

A family of a disabled daughter with autism has lashed out at KFC after one of their restaurants refused to turn down the loud music.

Anne Deegan Hunt, 61, from Southport, Merseyside, was intending to take her nine-year-old granddaughter, Leila, to the fast food chain at the Eastbank Street branch for lunch on Saturday, March 26.

But Leila, who has learning disabilities and autism, became distressed and started screaming because she couldn’t cope with the loud music being played in the restaurant.

Hunt told Liverpool ECHO: "Leila had managed to get on to a table and was screaming for the music to be turned down. The whole shop could hear her.

"I explained she was autistic and asked the employee at the counter if he could turn the music off. He told me he would have to talk to the manager."

Becoming more distressed Leila started hitting herself and stamping on a table as the music continued to play.

When the staff member returned he told Hunt they could not turn the music down, the only option was to turn it off which they were not willing to do.

"Anne had started punching her stomach. She has a Stoma had so she was at risk of causing serious harm to herself,” Hunt explained.

"The employee was really understating and he apologised but the manager didn't even come out to see what was going on."

Leila, who also has Goldenhar Syndrome and anxiety struggles to join in any form of activities outside the house.

Her gran added: "Because of her autism she has built up anxiety about going out and she only enjoys doing certain things. I was more upset for Leila because that's one of the few thigs that she likes to do."

Left with no choice Hunt eventually took her granddaughter somewhere else to eat.

"I don't think turning the music off would have spoiled anybody's dining experience. It's probably more distressing to watch a child in that state,” Hunt said.

"As they wouldn't turn the music off the situation was just getting worse. I was left feeling distraught and Leila's disability wasn't accommodated at all."

A KFC spokesperson said: "We’re really sorry we didn’t get this one right.

"We want our restaurants to be a welcoming place for everyone, and we’ve followed up with the team to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

"We’d like to make it up to the family and would love for them to get in touch with our Care Squad to give us the chance."

When a man proposed to his girlfriend at a KFC in South Africa the fast food chain paid for their wedding.