Customer told to pay £1 or leave after asking for tap water to take tablets

By Robert Mann

- Last updated on GMT

Water cheek: a customer was asked to pay £1 for tap water or leave despite needing it to take medication
Water cheek: a customer was asked to pay £1 for tap water or leave despite needing it to take medication
A pub customer claims he was refused free tap water at a bar – despite making it clear he had a medical condition and needed to take medication for it.

Tap water is a staple available at pubs and restaurants across the UK free of charge.

However, one customer claims he was told to leave his local if he did not cough up £1 for the drink – which he says is free to other customers at the Clock Hotel pub – despite declaring that he needed it to help swallow his medication.

Shown the door

Jonathan White says a member of staff at the pub in Hebburn, North Tyneside, showed him the door after he refused to pay for it.

White, who needed the water to swallow some antidepressant pills, claims the female bartender yelled at him to “pay or get out” on 15 June at around 9.45pm.

In the video he shot of the confrontation that followed, the member of staff can be heard telling him to stump up £1 or leave before seemingly taking a swipe at his phone.

After he insisted that he needed water to take his antidepressants, she asserted: “You can tape us as much as you like”.

Police matter

At one point she affirms: “If you’ve got a medical condition, you’ve got to go home.”

Before reporting the altercation to the police, White said the incident left him feeling “shocked and upset” and feeling “very vulnerable”.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police confirmed the incident – a report of an assault – and affirmed that enquiries are ongoing.

The Morning Advertiser ​approached the Clock Hotel at the time of publication, but the pub refused to comment.

Know the rules

This is not the first time where there has been a row over tap water.

Just last month, we reported about a landlord who highlighted that people who order free tap water could be affecting a businesses trade​.

What's important to remember is: if you serve alcohol, you have to provide free drinking water, whether it be filtered or unfiltered. 

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