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Muswell Hill family angry after disabled son asked to leave Chinese restaurant

PUBLISHED: 08:30 20 December 2018

Zoe Tweedale outside Yien restaurant Muswell Hill Broadway

Zoe Tweedale outside Yien restaurant Muswell Hill Broadway

Archant

A Muswell Hill family is demanding compensation from a Chinese restaurant that asked their disabled brother to leave because it claimed he was “intimidating” and “very noisy”.

Alex Tweedale’s sister and mother say Yien Oriental Cuisine in Muswell Hill Broadway discriminated against the 36-year-old, who has learning disabilities, along with scoliosis and kyphosis which affect his posture. He also has epilepsy, so wears a protective helmet for his own safety.

They have now served the restaurant with a solicitor’s letter claiming the restaurant breached the 2010 Equalities Act when it threw them out on October 13. The restaurant denies any wrongdoing and says it had received complaints from other customers.

But the family, who had only been there a few minutes, believe an able-bodied group would simply have been spoken to rather than kicked out.

Zoe, Alex’s younger sister, said: “This isn’t something I usually experience when I am out with my brother. We have eaten out in restaurants for the entirety of my life and never have we had someone ask us to leave.

“We told them at the time, this is someone with a learning disability. They offered us a takeaway – they said they could take our money, we just couldn’t stay there.”

Caroline, his mum, told the Broadway: “The manager said: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t serve you.’ She looked at my son and said we needed to leave.”

Angie Lim, the restaurant’s manager, confirmed she had asked the family to leave, but she said it was solely because of noise. She also denied having received the solicitor’s letter, which the family said it would re-send.

She said: “She came in with her son who was very, very noisy. We had lots of bookings around 7. We said they were intimidating and we had three tables complaining about the noise.

“It was so disturbing. He did not know what he was doing. He was screaming continually. Then later her other son came in and shouted at me. It was so upsetting for the whole night.

“I am really sorry – it’s not that we discriminate. We often have disabled people in our restaurant. We were not against his disability. It was the noise. I have a disabled customer who comes every week – that’s different because he’s not shouting.”

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