Blind man speaks of upset and confusion after being 'banned' from Sussex restaurant

The Barn Harvester, Chichester. Photo: Google Street View
The Barn Harvester, Chichester. Photo: Google Street View

A blind man has received an apology after he was 'banned' from visiting a restaurant in Sussex following a complaint.

Aldingbourne man Ashley Rivett was celebrating his 62nd birthday with friends at the Barn Harvester in Barnfield Drive, Chichester, West Sussex on Monday, July 18, when he had a fall.

He said: "I am registered blind and recently had a stroke.

"I am using a white stick and have been falling a lot as your balance goes. I had been reluctant go out for my birthday but I decided I would be fine.

"Not long after arriving, I caught my foot and went flying."

Following the fall, Ashley said the restaurant 'didn't log the incident in an accident book'.

"They should have done by law," he said.

"When I complained, I was told I was banned and never could return again."

Ashley said he was advised by Harvester's owners, Mitchells & Butlers, to phone the restaurant back in a couple of weeks to clarify his concerns.

He added: "I took that advice and called them back. I explained that I had a fall because I am registered blind and use a white stick.

"They told me I was putting it on and they put the phone down.

"I feel so upset about it. I've had to give everything up because I am blind. It is not my fault.

"I ended up on the floor in their restaurant and they called me a liar. I don't understand why."

When approached for comment on the incident, a Harvester spokesman said: "We apologise that the guest feels we have mishandled his complaint. It’s important that we treat all guests fairly and we do not condone discrimination in any way.

“We received conflicting feedback from other guests dining which caused some confusion in relation to the chain of events.

"We will be liaising with the guest direct so we can respond to his concerns and address any problems raised.”