JDW guilty in 8 of 18 cases of 'direct discrimination' against travellers

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Wetherspoons, the Coronet, travellers

Related tags Jd wetherspoon Discrimination

Central London County Court has ruled on a case after a group of Irish travellers sued JD Wetherspoon for discrimination when they were turned away from a north London pub in 2011.

Judge Hand found that JD Wetherspoon did not have a discriminatory motive and that door staff weren't aggressive or hostile.

The travellers were refused entry to Holloway based pub the Coronet after manager David Leach asked door staff to turn them away. Leach was concerned following recent disturbances at Dale Farm in Essex and a previous disorder at the premises in 2005.

The travellers were only allowed entry after one of the group produced his police identity card and agreed to take responsibility for their actions. Other members of the group included a barrister and a priest. 

Ten claims were dismissed by the court, with the travellers ordered to pay JD Wetherspoon’s legal costs. Eight claims were successful on the single issue of direct discrimination, with all claims for harassment and aggravated damages dismissed.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: “We apologise to the eight individuals who were denied entry and for any upset and distress this caused to them.

“It is the first time that a claim of this nature has been brought against the company in the 35 years of its existence.

“In light of the judgement, though we have always been fully committed to operating our premises in a non-discriminatory way, we will undertake a full review of our relevant policies and training.

Martin added: “The level of costs in the case incurred by the claimants’ lawyers was astronomical and unjustified in my opinion.

“Even before the trial started, over £70,000 worth of legal costs had been incurred by them.”

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