The Marlborough Hotel has been in damage control over the behaviour of security guards toward a young woman with cerebral palsy, denied entry as judged to be intoxicated.
The unnamed woman was out with friends last Saturday evening, celebrating her 21st birthday.
Early Sunday morning, the group arrived at the Marlborough in Newtown, where she was refused entry on the basis that security deemed her intoxicated.
Furthermore, one guard was reportedly overheard mocking the woman, allegedly saying “watch this disabled bitch fall”, although that seems to contradict ignorance of her condition.
“Disgraceful and discriminating behaviour by your door staff. She was belittled and laughed at. Shameful!” – friend Liane Gorham on the pub’s Facebook page.
Management were quick to react, quickly issuing a sincere apology for the mistaken judgement of the woman.
“Reality was she had cerebral palsy. And it was her 21st birthday. And we ruined her night. We apologise to the young lady, her friends and family. Unreservedly. We apologise for the humiliation and distress that we have caused.
“We are committed to building awareness of this issue with our entire team through intensive anti-discrimination training. Yours sincerely, the Marly.”
Two security guards were understood to be involved in the incident, and a spokesperson for Solotel confirmed in a statement the issue will be investigated and a solution managed.
“We are incredibly disappointed with the incident and have offered our unreserved apology to the young woman, her friends and family.
“We have acted immediately and the security guards in question will no longer work at any Solotel venue. In addition, the security company we employ at the Marlborough Hotel will undergo anti-discrimination training for their staff.”
The woman’s mother told The Herald in a statement she was glad to see the venue act so quickly, and that the family “would like to move on”.
The Herald also referenced another alleged incident, in July, when one patron vowed not to return after overtly aggressive treatment by security at the pub.
The pattern speaks to the unreasonable pressure venues and security guards are under to ensure no patron that could possibly be interpreted as intoxicated makes it in the door, lest licensing police see or find that person and issue infringements that may jeopardise the venue’s business.
Note: Cerebral palsy is a general term referring to a group of disorders that affect a person’s movements.