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Landlord refuses to serve a disabled 18-year-old customer

one photo of Jim and Hadyn having a drink in a pub garden and a second photo of The Dorset Soldier pub

A pub landlord has been accused of discrimination after they refused to serve a disabled customer celebrating his 18th birthday with his dad.

Jim Green, from Wimborne, Dorset, has blasted his local pub for not serving his son saying it’s "blatant discrimination in its worst form" and will not give up “fighting” until the legal aged teenager can enjoy a pint.

Green has been a local at The Dorset Soldier pub in Corfe Mullen for the past six years, but since his son was refused an alcoholic drink in December he has not been back.

His son, Haydn, was diagnosed with autism and global development delay, to celebrate turning 18 on December 12 his dad took him for a pint on December 17th at the local boozer.

Jim told The Sun:  "It was around a week before Hadyn's party and I was in the pub talking to Geoff [Mockford], 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."

Jim told the landlord he "would have to serve him as he will be 18 years old" and left, but his fight for his son to have a pint didn’t stop there.

On the PopplestonAllen website, the UK’s largest firm of licensing solicitors, it states: "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."

Mockford stood his ground saying "Hadyn is not a normal 18-year-old and has a "lower mental capacity for his years".

He compared giving a pint to Haydyn 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 licence".

Because Haydn’s party was so close to Christmas it still went ahead at the Dorset Soldier as every other local pub was fully booked, but the birthday boy was unable to drink alcohol.

Jim 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."

The angry dad went on to state Haydn can make decisions for himself and is aware of the effects alcohol can have.

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."

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 escalated his complaint to brewery Hall and Woodhouse, who own The Dorset Soldier, but they sided with the landlord.

In a statement they 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".

[ Hall and Woodhouse said they believe landlord Geoff Mockford did not discriminate Haydn because of his disability

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