Medical student bites back after Mosquito bar discrimination


theweek120by150A disabled medical student who was refused entry to a bar and then taunted by the manager, has secured compensation for discrimination.

Mark Daniels, a wheelchair-user from Peckham, south London, secured an out-of-court settlement of £1,500 for the treatment he received while visiting the Mosquito bar in Clapham High Street, also in south London.

Daniels had taken legal action – supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – against both the owner of the bar, Bahar Uddin, and the manager, Faysel Sheik, who were accused of breaching the Equality Act by unlawfully denying him access.

Daniels claimed he was refused entry, in November 2011, because he was a wheelchair-user. He said he was told the bar was too busy and there was no space for him, even though other people were being let in.

He said Sheik then humiliated him by taking photographs and laughing at him in front of customers entering and leaving the bar.

Daniels said: “It is regrettable to me it had to come to this as this whole action was avoidable and unnecessary, but I felt the law was my only method of expressing the sense of indignity I experienced.

“I was happy to spend my money and enjoy myself just like everybody else that evening but that opportunity was taken from me solely based on prejudice and ignorance.”

He added: “It’s a shame some businesses still see disabled people as an inconvenience instead of as potential customers.

“My main goal of this action is to try and educate this business, and hopefully others, that this kind of prejudice is detrimental to themselves for losing custom, but more importantly to the individuals who have their freedom and dignity stripped away.”

Uddin and Sheik have so far been unavailable to comment.

7 February 2013