Stoke & Staffordshire

Blind man and guide dog 'banned from Fairbourne shop'

Andy Terry and Flame Image copyright Andy Terry
Image caption Andy Terry was visiting Fairbourne with his guide dog Flame

A blind customer is considering a discrimination claim against a shop in Wales he says asked him to leave because he had his guide dog with him.

Andy Terry, 61, from Stoke-on-Trent, was visiting Fairbourne, Gwynedd, on Friday with his guide dog Flame.

Mr Terry said he was asked to leave the village mini mart by the owner who told him dogs were banned.

Charity Guide Dogs Cymru said the owner had offered no apology. The shop has been contacted by the BBC for comment.

Mr Terry, who is registered blind because of a rare genetic disorder, said he had visited the shop while on holiday.

'Embarrassing and upsetting'

"I just wanted a browse. But the owner was in my face straight away," he added.

"He told me there was a clear notice on the door saying 'no dogs under any circumstances'.

"I explained Flame was a guide dog and showed him a card I carry to prove that, but he told me it was private property and we would have to leave.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The shop's owner has been contacted by the charity Guide Dogs Cymru

"I couldn't believe it. I've never experienced anything like that before. I told him it was discrimination but he said I was discriminating against him by bringing the dog in."

After leaving the shop, Mr Terry contacted the charity Guide Dogs Cymru, who wrote a letter to the owner.

He added: "If he apologises, then it ends. But if not, I have pursued discrimination cases before and I am happy to pursue this."

Andrea Gordon, engagement manager for Guide Dogs Cymru, said the owner had admitted he had refused Mr Terry access.

"Under the Equality Act, guide dog and other assistance dog owners have the right to enter a shop with their dog, and it is incredibly embarrassing and upsetting for them when they are refused access," she said.

"We are liaising with the guide dog owner to offer support should he wish to take the matter further."

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