South East Wales

Man with Huntington's 'refused entry to Cardiff bar'

Ben Jones, right, with fiancé Ross Gunter Image copyright Ross Gunter
Image caption Ben Jones (right, pictured with fiancé Ross Gunter) was diagnosed with Huntington's disease in 2009

A man with Huntington's disease has said he was turned away from a Cardiff bar after door staff mistook his symptoms for drunkenness.

Ben Jones, 27, of Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent, claims he was refused entry to Chapel 1877 on Saturday.

He said security staff thought he was "too drunk" even when he showed them a card confirming he has the illness.

A Chapel 1887 spokesman said the refusal to let the group in was not due to anyone having a disability.

Care worker Ross Gunter, 24, who is engaged to Mr Jones, said: "The way the club treated him was despicable. He has been discriminated against.

"He's still quite upset. It's a hard illness. People look at him and think that he's drunk. But as soon as he shows his card most people are normally alright.

"It's upsetting knowing that people look at him and do judge him."

Chapel 1887 said "security absolutely did not refuse entry due to anybody having a disability" but door staff felt some in the group "had more than is reasonable to drink".

Image copyright Google

Huntington's disease is an inherited condition that damages certain nerve cells in the brain.

Symptoms include personality changes, mood swings, fidgety movements, irritability and altered behaviour.

According to the NHS, symptoms are often overlooked and attributed to something else.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Chapel 1887 said: "The security company that we hired for this event works various premises around Cardiff and are not employed by the chapel.

"They are a separate business and we do not condone any person to be treated with disrespect, it goes against everything we have tried to achieve at the chapel.

"We are now seeking new security and we would ask people to please keep in mind that the chapel is separate and has always been welcoming to guests no matter their situation."

But Mr Gunter, who lives with Mr Jones, said: "We feel as if Ben wasn't good enough to go in there - but now there's a fuss he is suddenly good enough.

"They (Chapel 1887) are trying to pass the buck onto the security guards, rather than taking responsibility."

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