Pub manager apologises after disabled woman left 'humiliated'
- Credit: Nicola O'Brian
A pub manager has apologised to a disabled woman who says she was left "humiliated" after a pub worker told her she was deemed a 'health and safety hazard.'
Nicola O'Brian, 50, has recently moved to Oulton Broad and works as an international businesswoman.
On Saturday evening, she was sampling some of the pubs in Oulton Broad.
At 6pm, she arrived at The Wolf Inn in Oulton Broad and said she was left feeling humiliated after being told she could not be served inside with her scooter which she relies on.
Ms O'Brian said: "After using a scooter for most of my life this is the first time I was ever asked to leave a pub.
"There was no ramp into the actual pub but when me and my husband managed to get in there were only two other people.
"I got to the bar ready to order and was told by the barman that I had to park my scooter outside otherwise I couldn't be served inside.
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"He said I was a health and safety hazard and that the pub is too small to accommodate me and my scooter.
"The barman was unapologetic and loud about it all, not polite. I feel humiliated."
Ms O'Brian says the pub has breached its licencing regulations by discriminating against her based on her disability.
The pub has since apologised.
Ms O'Brian added: "They can not treat people this way. Pubs are legally obliged to accept anyone.
"I am a disabled woman and very often I am made to feel like a second class citizen.
"Things still need to be learnt even in the year 2021."
The member of staff in question confirmed that he told the woman to park her scooter outside but dismissed claims he was loud and unapologetic.
In an initial statement the pub manager expressed her sincere apologies for the way in which Ms O'Brian was treated and said the pub will proactively take action to train up staff.
However, in a subsequent statement, pub owners TDP Group Ltd claimed it was "upset" with the accusations and that as part of its Covid-secure procedures a member of the bar team politely asked the customer if she would like to be seated and offered table service.
It added that it was not uncommon within the hospitality industry to ask customers to leave scooters outside.