A blind man from Hull who was told to leave a Wetherspoon pub after walking in with his guide dog has described his ordeal as a "punch in the guts".
Keith Valentine visited the Royal Victoria Pavilion pub in Ramsgate, Kent, at 1pm on Saturday afternoon with his wife Carolyn and guide dog Dottie.
Mr Valentine, 53, has a degenerative genetic condition affecting his sight which was first diagnosed when he was just 11 years old.
He was registered as blind around 20 years ago, Hull Live reports.
While he still has some vision left, he says it is "nothing significant".
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After registering their arrival on the NHS test and trace app, Mr Valentine said he confirmed with the front of house staff that he was blind and asked if they could sit on the outdoor terrace upstairs.
After being told that they could, he said they ordered their drinks on the pub's app and were brought them shortly afterwards, asking the waitress who had first greeted them if they could get some water for Dottie too.
After a different member of staff returned with the dog's water bowl, Mr Valentine claims she told them they could not have the dog in the pub with them and allegedly accused them of "sneaking in via a fire escape".
He said he then asked to speak to the manager, who came up and also allegedly told them they would have to leave.
"Extremely shaken, my wife and I made our way downstairs via the lift and went to reception to speak with the barmaid that had advised us originally when we arrived," Mr Valentine said.
"She told us that she had told the manager that we'd entered the premises properly, that she had identified we had an assistance dog and told us to sit where we had ordered our drinks."
He said he then asked to speak with both the manager and that member of staff together, at which point the manager told him it had been a "misunderstanding" but allegedly maintained that they "should leave".
"Customers around us witnessing what he was doing were shocked as a blind man and his guide dog were thrown out of the pub for literally no reason," he said.
He said he had received no acknowledgement of his complaint since getting in touch with Wetherspoon over the weekend.
"It was like a punch in the guts, I've been shaken up all weekend," he said.
"It felt like they had contempt for my disability."
A Wetherspoon spokesman said: "The gentleman was approached by a staff member who had seen the dog in the upstairs balcony, but could not see the harness.
"He was told that dogs were not allowed on the premises and would have to leave.
"The gentleman said he had come in the front door and had checked in.
"He then told the staff member that he was blind.
"The member of staff apologised and asked him to move inside the pub when they were ready as assistance dogs are not allowed on the upstairs balcony.
"The manager then intervened and apologised to the customer and said he believed the customer had misunderstood the situation and that he wasn't being asked to leave, but simply to move inside the pub.
"We reiterate that assistance dogs are allowed in the pub."
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