‘Wetherspoons staff cornered me like rat after refusing to answer one question’
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A man has claimed he was made to "feel like a rat trapped in the corner" by staff at a Wetherspoons who kicked him out after he asked about why they were letting seemingly able-bodied people use the disabled toilets.
Keith Rowe, a 56-year-old man from Newquay, paid a visit to Try Dowr, the Wetherspoons pub in Truro, Cornwall, earlier this month when he saw that people were coming and going from the disabled toilet without closing the door.
Normally, disabled toilets in the UK are kept locked and can be accessed with a Radar key, or a disabled key holder.
Becoming increasingly frustrated, he asked a staff member why this was being allowed by the pub’s management.
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"The manager came over accusing me of swearing and said that I was being abusive in front of families. I asked her, "What is the point of having a Radar key when you leave it open’,” he told CornwallLive.
He added: "I then lost my cool with her after my words fell on deaf ears and she ordered me out of the place in full view of ogling rubberneckers and also said I am not welcome here again, so I did not even get the chance to finish my dinner and coffee."
Keith said it left him out of pocket and feeling completely disheartened, saying: "I was ganged upon by two of three servers and made to feel like a rat trapped in the corner.”
He admitted he was so passionate about the problem because of his recently departed wife, who had to use an electric wheelchair and would often point out when seemingly non-disabled people used disabled bathrooms.
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A spokesperson for J D Wetherspoon said: “Mr Rowe questioned staff as to the use of the accessible toilet at the pub.
“They would have been glad to deal with his query but it was made in a manner which the employees concerned felt was unnecessarily confrontational. Accordingly he was rightly asked to leave the pub.
"There are many disabilities which are not obvious. Our employees are not entitled to ask customers to explain why they might wish to use our pub's accessible toilets or insist they use a Radar key."
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