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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Licensees, brace yourselves.

Posted by Noddy,

The judge found (para 149 of his 91 page judgment) that the thinking of Weatherspoon’s was:
“suffused with the stereotypical assumption that Irish Travellers and English Gypsies cause disorder wherever they go. In my judgment this is racial stereotyping of those with that ethnic [???] origin [NO IT’S NOT. IT’S EMPIRICISM]. It can be reduced to this crude proposition: whenever Irish Travellers and English Gypsies go to public houses violent disorder is [MISSING WORD IS ‘ALMOST’] inevitable because that is how they behave”[DOH!]

Martin Howe, senior partner of Howe and Co Solicitors [WELL-KNOWN DRINKING COMPANION OF TRAVELLERS??], was one of the group who were turned away by door staff and was also a claimant in the case [HMMM!], said:
“This judgment will shake to the core all those who engage in racist conduct towards Irish Travellers and Romani Gypsies. The last bastion of ‘acceptable racism’ has come crashing down. Shops, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels, clubs and pubs […BRACE YOURSELVES…] will now realise that treating Gypsies and Travellers as second–class citizens is an affront to their dignity [MEANING OF ‘DIGNITY’ NOW OFFICIALLY CHANGED?] that is no longer tolerated. Discriminators will pay in damages, in costs and in loss of reputation [DEFINITELY THE FIRST TWO. NOT THE THIRD!]. This is a watershed day when Gypsies and Travellers no longer have to move on but can hold their heads high in the knowledge that there is equal treatment for all”.

Yvonne MacNamara, CEO of the Traveller Movement said:
“We are overjoyed with today’s decision. Justice has finally been done for those who were turned away from the Coronet pub because they were Travellers, or because they were associated with Travellers. In this day and age it is outrageous that a national pub chain like JD Wetherspoons can carry out such a blatant act of discrimination against members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities, their friends and colleagues.
“As a national charity who works to promote equality for Gypsies and Travellers across the country, we too often come across members of these communities being refused access to goods and services on the grounds of their ethnicity [SEEMS ‘ETHNICITY’ IS A SYNONYM FOR ‘ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR’]. We hope Justice Hand’s decision will mark a sea change in the unacceptably high levels of discrimination these communities experience.”


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Posted by Peter,

Next time you see them pitched up on a village green report them as tax evaders (illegal ask Lester Piggot) and demand that the police take possession of their 70k pound Landcruisers and Range Rovers etc.. Under the proceeds of crime act.
Unless their accountants can prove their vehicles were purchased via taxed income with all relevant audit trails the police are at liberty to retain these goods indefinitely .

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Income generation

Posted by Noddy,

Oh dear, poor JDW have become the first, but, I’d wager, not the last, English victims of one of the travellers’ well-established income-stream strategies, cf. numerous successful actions for “racial” discrimination over the years in Ireland. No doubt they’ve “killed the goose” over there! What is hilarious, and telling, is that this group were drinking in the company of a member of the police, a barrister and a priest – the “race” are well-known for having such luminaries in their mob-drinking and destruction outings. JDW, you have been stitched up. In Ireland some publicans were penalised for banning groups of known trouble-making travellers and, indeed, ones who had previously caused problems at the premises. Once they had persuaded the legislature, with the help of whatever is the Irish equivalent of Guardian-reading social workers and Pavee Point, that they were a “race” rather than the observed random conglomeration of cut-purses, con-men, drug-dealers and tax-avoiders with no respect for other peoples rights, they started to use the “race discrimination” card to their great financial benefit.
Surely under the present Licensing Laws the requirement to reduce the potential for crime should take preference over the sensitivities of groups who have been known to leave large wads of cash behind bars of pubs and hotels for the damage “that is going to ensue”. Comments from Irish licensees would have been interesting if they had been giving evidence in this court case.

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