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Wheelchair user had to go to toilet in alley after disabled toilet used as restaurant storeroom

By WBMiles  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

LukeMissons

Wheelchair user Luke Missons had to go to toilet in alley after a disabled toilet was used as a restaurant storeroom.

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A wheelchair-user had to go to the toilet in an alleyway after he found the disabled toilet in a Truro restaurant was broken and being used as a storeroom.

Luke Missons, 29, was eating at the Xen Noodle Bar on Calenick Street when he was faced with the “apalling” situation.

The restaurant owner apologised and said he had not been able to afford to rectify the situation.

Mr Missons, who has the genetic disease of muscular dystrophy, said: “We went to where the disabled toilet should have been but it’s just a stock room now with floor to ceiling boxes.

“They had nowhere for me to go we had to go outside which is obviously not ideal. I had to find an alleyway and went up there.

“It should not be an excuse that the toilet is broken. To fill the room with other stuff is not acceptable.”

Mr Missons said he regularly experienced problems accessing disabled toilets.

The Disability Discrimination Act states that providers of goods and services to the public have a duty to make “reasonable adjustments” to their premises.

Tammi James, Mr Missons’ carer, said: “I was very unhappy, not just for Luke but for all disabled clients.

“If it was a toilet for able-bodied people it would have been fixed immediately.”

Chris To took over the restaurant in October last year and said he had not been able to fix the toilet despite having a plumber look at the problem.

He said: “There is not much I can do about it until I have the money. I need to improve the toilets - it’s a matter of how and when.”

Steve Paget MBE, chairman of Disability Cornwall, said it appeared Mr To may not be complying with his responsibilities

He said: “As there are other toilets available to customers, which were not used as a store room and were in working order then the owner may be guilty of directly discriminating in this instance.

“His reasoning and excuses demonstrates a very poor understanding of his responsibilities in this area.”

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