Trader defiant after banning guide dog

By Alex Jones in Business

A BLIND man was left “immensely distressed” after he and his guide dog were ordered to leave a Meirionnydd shop.

Andy Terry, from Stoke-on-Trent, was in Fairbourne last Friday afternoon on one of his regular visits to his sister who lives in the area.

Whilst enjoying a “very pleasant” visit to the seaside village, Mr Terry - who is registered blind - decided to escape the wind and rain by visiting Fairbourne Mini Mart on Beach Road.

To his shock and dismay, he and his dog ‘Flame’ were told to leave the store as dogs were not allowed in the Mini Mart “under any circumstances”.

Despite Guide Dogs Cymru informing the owner of the shop, Robert North, that he had broken the law, the shopkeeper was defiant, saying he and his customers found dogs in shops “extremely offensive”.

Mr Terry said: “I went into a shop – a Mini Mart owned by an A & J North according to the banner above it. I was approached by a tall, elderly man who curtly asked if he could get anything for me. I thanked him and replied that I was just browsing.

"He then told me that there was a sign on the door saying no dogs were allowed in his shop under any circumstances. I immediately told him that my dog was a guide dog. He said ‘no dogs under any circumstances’.

“I explained I was legally entitled to go anywhere that was open to the public.”

When contacted by the Cambrian News, Fairbourne Mini Mart owner Robert North admitted the incident had occurred but showed little remorse.

Mr North said: “There was no need for the dog to come into the shop, there’s a sign on the door clearly stating that there are to be no dogs under any circumstance. His dog was sniffing around the bread and my customers and I find that extrememly offensive.”

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Dilwyn Edwards · 9 days ago · Report

I add another comment - and I apologise fro that. A reference was made by the owner of the shop that no dogs were allowed and that HE and his customers found it offensive that the dog was sniffing around the bread. 1. Why was the dog sniffing around the bread? Was there something illicit in the vicinity? 2. I am surprised that the owner had ANY customers at all who chose to enter the premises (apart from delivery personnel)

Dick Jones · 10 days ago · Report

The owner of the minimart, ROBERT NORTH, should be ashamed of himself. We decent people respect the disabilities of others. Obviously, the minimart owner has no respect. Avoid his mingy shop always.

Dick Jones · 10 days ago · Report

The owner of the minimart should be ashamed of himself. We decent people respect the disabilities of others. Obviously, the minimart owner has no respect.

j&j · 14 days ago · Report

The store owner, Robert Cecil North, is also a convicted thief who stole £64,000 from the post office put ( dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/preacher-jailed-64k-theft-sub-2779378 ) into your search engine & read all about it. Boycott the store

jez sutton · 14 days ago · Report

i hope some kind person or organisation offers to sponsor a legal case and the local council enforces. prejudice is ignorance and I find the fact that a preacher can have this attitude shameful. don't we have enough hate in the world. Jez

Genova · 15 days ago · Report

Hit him where it hurts, his pocket

II · 15 days ago · Report

He's not been blessed in the brain department has he. The irony of telling a blind man that: "...there’s a sign on the door clearly stating that there are to be no dogs under any circumstance." And he's a good Christian too. A preacher apparently. Oh yes, and with a prior conviction for stealing over £64,000 from a sub-post office... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/8275278.stm

Gary · 15 days ago · Report

This is discrimination, pure and simple. If Mr North told a customer to get out of his shop because they were black, female or he suspected they were gay, he'd be rightly taken to court. This is no different; Mr Terry was targeted because he was disabled. If Mr Terry wasn't registered blind, he wouldn't need the guide dog.

Toni · 15 days ago · Report

Surely he can be charged with something.....This is worth a read: https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/access-all-areas/faq#3

Amanda Morgans · 15 days ago · Report

Dear Mr Terry - I have a shop in Dolgellau (8 miles up the road) where you and your beautiful dog would be most welcome anytime ! Apart from that we have shops, cafes and restaurants in town where dogs are welcomed in with their owners, and even if pet dogs are not allowed in an establishment I have never heard of anyone banning a guide dog from any premises in the town - ever !!!

Dilwyn Edwards · 15 days ago · Report

This vile Psychopath deserves to rot in hell for his total lack of compassion and decency. I sincerely hope that the local people protest collectively and boycott this outlet which is of pond life intelligence.

Dilwyn Edwards · 15 days ago · Report

Total and utter SCUM I hope that ALL the local people will boycott this store to express their collective opinion that this man - Robert North should not go North South East or West but six foot under. A Vile Psychopath who deserves everything he gets.

Deb Hutch · 15 days ago · Report

The only way to solve this is for the good people of the area to boycott his shop. What an appalling way to treat this man.

Glenys · 16 days ago · Report

Sorry I I seem thick but if the man is registered blind, how would he see the sign outside the shop! Are we expecting guide dogs to read, now!

Brian Bermingham · 16 days ago · Report

Goodness me, what a vile man. As a guide dog owner myself I know how liberating it can be to use a guide dog. I can only imagine how hurtful it must have been to be treated as this poor chap has been. I trust that Guide Dogs For The Blind and the local authority wil now pursue this man through the courts

Viv Steadman · 16 days ago · Report

What an immense fool that man is. Guide dogs and their owners are typically extremely sympathetically received by all members of the public in this country. We understand their immense value to their owner and understand that, even with the fabulous training that they get, they are still only dogs - with all the tempting smells that they have to battle with every day. If I lived in Fairbourne, I would never set foot in that shop and would also encourage others to boycott it too.

Simon McCann · 16 days ago · Report

This guy did the same to my wife and her guide dog a couple of years ago. He was extremely rude and threatening. He then tried to claim she's not really visually impaired (you'd have thought the guide dog might have been a bit of a clue). Thoroughly nasty individual.

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