Father’s fury at pub landlord who ‘refused to serve his son a pint on his 18th birthday because his autism meant it would be like serving a nine-year-old’Jim Green accused the Dorset Soldier pub, Dorset, of ‘blatant discrimination’But landlord Geoff Mockford hit back and claimed he was ‘just doing his job’ By Alexander Butler
Published: 17:21, 15 April 2023 | Updated: 18:32, 15 April 2023
A father was left ‘furious’ after a pub allegedly refused to serve his disabled son a pint of beer on his 18th birthday.
Jim Green slammed the Dorset Soldier, Dorset, of ‘blatant discrimination’ after he claimed the landlord refused his autistic 18-year-old son Haydn service on his birthday.
But landlord Geoff Mockford hit back today and said he was ‘just doing his job’ because Haydn ‘has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old’ and can ‘barely string a sentence together’.
Mr Green, from Wimborne, Dorset, told the Sun: ‘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.’
Jim Green (right) slammed the Dorset Soldier, Dorset, of ‘blatant discrimination’ after he claimed the landlord refused his autistic 18-year-old son Haydn (left) service on his birthday
But landlord Geoff Mockford hit back today and said he was ‘just doing his job’ because Haydn ‘has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old’ and can ‘barely string a sentence together’. Pictured: The Dorset Soldier
He added: ‘I am going to keep fighting for Hadyn, because if I don’t who else is going to?’
Mr Green booked the venue to celebrate Haydn’s 18th birthday on December 17 last year.
He said: ‘It was around a week before Hadyn’s party and I was in the pub talking to Geoff, the landlord.
‘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.’
Mr Green argued the landlord would ‘have to serve him as he will be 18 years old’ but Mr Mockford stood by his decision.
He allegedly told Mr Green his son was ‘not a normal 18-year-old’ and giving him alcohol would be like ‘serving a nine-year-old’.
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.’
Common law states a licensee can refuse service to ‘anyone he or she chooses’ provided the refusal is not on the basis of ‘sex, race, disability, gender, sexual orientation or religious belief’, according to licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen.