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Belfast restaurant fined for turning away blind diners

20 December 2007 by
Belfast restaurant fined for turning away blind diners

A Chinese restaurant in Belfast has been ordered to pay two blind friends £2,000 in compensation after turning them away because they had a guide dog.

In December 2005, Andrea Hope and Jamie Coady called the Imperial City Chinese restaurant and made a reservation.

However, when they arrived at the eaterie they were told they could not sit in the restaurant with the dog and would have to tie the animal up outside or have a take-out meal.

The friends took their case to the Equality Commission and were awarded the money in an out of court settlement. The restaurant owners apologised and admitted a breach of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Hope told the BBC: "When we went into the restaurant a woman came up and said we can't accept your dog. I said: ‘Look, we phoned you. We told you there was a guide dog'. But they said we would have to tie the dog up outside while we ate in the restaurant. I told them I needed the dog.

"Then they said maybe we could take our food away with us, that they'd give us a takeaway."

The Imperial City is now under new ownership and new owner Eileen Li.

Disabled man wins landmark case against Scottish hotel >>

DWP releases guide to help firms comply with DDA >>

British pubs failing disabled guests >>

By Kerstin Kühn

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