Dad left fuming after pub refuses to serve disabled son a pint on his 18th birthday
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A dad has been left furious after a pub refused to serve his disabled son a pint to celebrate his 18th birthday, branding it 'discrimination'.
Jim Green has accused the village pub's landlord of 'blatant discrimination in its worst form' and revealed he won't stop 'fighting' for his son's right to have a pint.
The Dorset Soldier in Wimborne, Dorset refused his disabled son the rite of passage when he reached the legal drinking age.
For around six years, single dad Jim was a regular at his local in Corfe Mullen, but has not stepped foot in there since the incident.
Jim's son Hadyn is autistic and has global development delay and has been a regular in the pub along with his dad for years.
After Hadyn turned 18 on December 12 last year, the venue was booked on December 17 to celebrate his milestone birthday.
"It was around a week before Hadyn's party and I was in the pub talking to Geoff, the landlord," Jim explained.
"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."
According to licensing solicitors, PopplestonAllen: "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."
A shocked Jim argued that he 'would have to serve him as he will be 18 years old'.
Landlord Geoffrey Mockford stood by his decision, allegedly stating that Hadyn is 'not a normal 18-year-old' due to his 'lower mental capacity for his years' and that giving him alcohol would be like serving 'a 9-year-old'.
He said it was 'due diligence' not to serve him and 'risk his licence.'
Jim argues that Hadyn is capable of making decisions for himself in spite of his disability.
He also says that Hadyn is aware of the effects of alcohol after spending time with his dad over the years around revellers at the venue.
Hadyn's party went ahead at the pub as planned as, despite the dispute, the December date made it too close to Christmas for a venue change - but Jim claims that Hadyn didn't have his all-important first drink.
Jim spoke about what happened at the disappointing damp squib of a party: "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 just think it's blatant discrimination, we don't have a problem in other pubs we go into.
"I am going to keep fighting for Hadyn, because if I don't who else is going to?"
Mockford refuted some of Jim's claims, saying to The Sun: "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."
The Dorset Soldier declined to comment when contacted by LADbible.