Leeds pub criticised for not serving disabled brothers with speech impediments for being 'too drunk'

The Banker's Cat on Boar Lane. Picture: GoogleThe Banker's Cat on Boar Lane. Picture: Google
The Banker's Cat on Boar Lane. Picture: Google
“Arrogant and rude” bar staff in Leeds have been criticised for refusing to serve two disabled brothers with speech impediments after insisting they were drunk.

Brothers Jonathan and David Green had been for a meal with their friend, Neil Metcalfe, at Turtle Bay in Leeds on November 10. After finishing their meal, they went to go for a drink at The Banker’s Cat in Boar Lane at around 10pm.

Neil, 52, explained that the brothers both have brain damage, though David has more severe symptoms and is registered as disabled. Having known the two for 30 years, he said: “You couldn’t meet two nicer lads if you tried.”

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Taxi driver Jonathan was driving on the night so only had a soft drink at Turtle Bay, while Neil and David had one alcoholic drink each. When they entered the Banker’s Cat, Jonathan and David went to the bar to order drinks while Neil grabbed a table.

Jonathan told the Yorkshire Evening Post that a woman came to serve him and he ordered a soft drink for himself and a beer for Neil. David then asked the woman if there was anything that was “not gassy”.

Jonathan said: “She walked off and came back and said, ‘I’m not serving you’. I said, ‘you are having a laugh, right?’ The manager came up and said, ‘It’s a team decision. We are not serving you’. I asked if he could explain why and he said ‘you are too drunk’.”

He said that he tried to challenge the decision – explaining that he was driving – but when the manager would not budge, he and David went to the table and told Neil what had happened.

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Neil said: “They were both really upset. Jonathan was close to tears.” He said he went to the bar to try and explain to the manager that the two men were disabled and had speech impediments.

He said: “I explained that it’s something that runs in the family. He said, ‘I’m not bothered. We have made a decision’. I said, ‘I’m happy for you to call the police and breathalyze us and then you will owe him an apology’.

"There wasn’t any cause for concern with our behaviour. I asked, ‘If he was in a wheelchair or hobbling would you say he’s drunk and can’t walk?’

Neil added that the manager would not provide his name and after asking for the name of the bar was told: “It’s in big letters outside.” He said: "It was really humiliating. He was just really arrogant and rude. It was disgusting the way that he talked to us.

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"They were both physically upset. That’s what angered me. There was just no need for it. You just try to treat people as equals.”

Jonathan said that the woman who originally served him came to apologise as she “realised what had happened”. He said: "It really upset my brother. He thought he’d spoiled everyone’s night. It was just so rude.”

Neil said: “It was an awful experience. It made me feel ashamed of the city I come from and put me off going to town again.”

The three men went to another bar after the incident and were served.

The Banker’s Cat and Thornbridge Brewery, which owns the pub, were contacted for a statement.

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