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Disabled man’s anger at treatment by Newington Green Tesco store

PUBLISHED: 07:07 31 January 2012

Jamie Beddard

Jamie Beddard

Archant

A man with cerebral palsy claims he suffered disability discrimination when a Tesco cashier refused to sell him alcohol.

Jamie Beddard, 45, claims the row at the Newington Green store in Green Lanes in December was a result of his medical condition.

Following a dispute, Mr Beddard, who lives in nearby Springdale Road, Stoke Newington, was eventually sold the beer but he has been left “angry and frustrated” by the incident and Tesco’s response to a subsequent complaint.

Mr Beddard said: “A long queue formed behind me, as I questioned why I was being refused.

“He told me the alcohol might ‘not be good for me’, to which I asked if I was not being served because I was disabled.

“He replied that I was putting words in his mouth, and that is not what he meant. I’m still none the wiser as to what he was trying to say.”

“What I do know is I am angry and upset, and have a queue of people who witnessed this blatant discrimination.

“It is painful explaining to your daughter that ‘the man would not serve me because I look different’.

“I am a family man doing my normal business only to be confronted by this needless, ridiculous and upsetting situation.”

Tesco claimed that the father-of-two “misinterpreted” an offer to help carry his purchases but Mr Beddard said he was later told that he was not served because the member of staff believed he was “intoxicated.”

A review of CCTV footage was requested but Tesco told Mr Beddard it did not shed any light on the incident.

Mr Beddard added: “Being discriminated against is bad enough, but Tesco’s subsequent denials, claims that I misinterpreted and general fobbing off has compounded my anger and frustration.

“The whole experience has revealed the disrespect and disregard they have for customers. An apology might have been a good start.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Our staff receive extensive training in the selling of alcohol and we take such incidents very seriously.

“We have investigated fully with the store and it appears that there was a misunderstanding at the till for which we have apologised to Mr Beddard.”

Mr Beddard said Tesco have since arranged a meeting with him and he is considering further action.


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