A pub has apologised after bar staff reportedly laughed at a disabled customer for being “drunk and wobbly”. Kia Little said she was “mortified” when workers told her “you’re all over the place”.
The 44-year-old, who struggles to walk due to a spinal fracture, said she popped into the pub to “kill a few minutes” before her bus home. Although she has received an apology Kia, who also has ADHD and Asperger’s, says she now wants to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Teesside Live reports that The Discovery Pub in Middlesbrough has “sincerely apologised” for the “misunderstanding” and for any distress caused, while venue owner Stonegate Group has said it takes “all allegations very seriously”.
Read more: Crying Derby A&E staff asked to hide tears from patients
Kia claimed staff started “making offensive comments” after she entered the pub 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 said she “just walked out” after the incident. She added: “I was pretty disgusted. 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 apologised 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.” She added: “I don’t want this to happen to another disabled person. 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 apologise 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 apologised to the customer for any misunderstanding and for any offence 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. It said “enquiries are ongoing”.
To read all the biggest and best stories first sign up to read our newsletters here.