A WOMAN with epilepsy says she was refused entry to a pub because of her medical condition.
Cerys Fletcher showed a valid ID card on arrival at the Peaky Blinders bar in Manchester but was told she couldn’t come in.
Cerys Fletcher says she was barred from entering a pub on New Year’s DayCredit: MEN Media
The 21-year-old was out celebrating a friend’s 21st birthdayCredit: MEN Media
Staff demanded she produce a passport or driving licence or be turned away.
But the 21-year-old cannot drive due to her epilepsy so uses an alternative card – Validate UK – to prove her age.
Cerys, from Bury, told the Manchester Evening News: “I have had problems like this in the past, but not as disgusting as this.
“I told him that this was discrimination. I cannot get it out of my head.”
Cerys and eight pals had booked a table at the bar for a birthday party on New Year’s Day.
They paid a £90 deposit to secure the spot, and were told in advance of the venue’s ID policy, Peaky Blinders said.
Managers have now said the group will get a full refund.
Cerys said half the party – there to celebrate a friend’s 21st – arrived at the venue 20 minutes early for their booking.
The doorman asked for ID when they got there, which they all reportedly produced.
“I handed him mine and he glanced at it and said, ‘We do not accept this’,” Cerys said.
“He said it’s not a legal ID. The ID has everything on it that provisional does, but it doesn’t have my address.
“I got my bank cards out and a bright yellow slip of paper that says I’m epileptic with my name and date of birth on but he still would not accept it.”
Cery’s medical condition – which affects the brain and causes seizures – means she cannot hold a driving licence, full or provisional.
Instead, she is part of the Validate scheme, which allows people to prove their age and ID without the use of a passport or driving licence.
Cerys said: “I have been in [other] pubs and bars and they’ve accepted it.
“I walked off because I was so upset. My friends were not angry and my boyfriend asked about why [it wasn’t accepted] and he called him a c***.
“[Two people in my group] spoke to management and they just said we could not come in, end of.”
Cerys and her mates found another bar to celebrate in, but she said the night felt “ruined”.
A spokesperson for the Peaky Blinders bar, inspired by the hit BBC series of the same name, stood by its ID policy.
They said: “In line with the conditions on our premises licence, Peaky Blinders operates a challenge 25 policy which requires patrons who look under the age of 25 to produce valid photographic ID.
“Our licence also states that no children (under 18s) are permitted on site after 7pm.
“The booking in question was for a 21st birthday at 7pm. As such, all members attending were required to produce valid photographic ID to gain entry to the premises.
“Some members of the group in question couldn’t provide valid ID and were therefore denied entry to the venue.
“This is stated clearly on the bookings page of our website and outlined in our booking T&Cs, which must be accepted in order to pay the deposit.
“We have since been in touch with the lead booker who has explained to us that she missed these policies when booking.
“We have also provided them with a full refund.”
Validate UK, which issued Cerys’ card, ceased trading in 2021 but cards remain valid providing they feature an undamaged PASS hologram, which Cerys’ does.
What is epilepsy?
EPILEPSY is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures.
It can start at any age, but usually begins either in childhood or in people over 60.
It is often lifelong, but can sometimes get slowly better over time.
Possible symptoms include:
- Uncontrollable jerking and shaking, called a “fit”
- Losing awareness and staring blankly into space
- Becoming stiff
- Strange sensations, such as a “rising” feeling in the tummy, unusual smells or tastes, and a tingling feeling in your arms or legs
Epilepsy can be treated with medicine, surgery, other procedures and a special diet.