Bar refuses ex-soldier

Crawley soldier Jay Baldwin will hand-cycle 3,000 miles across America SUS-150731-145039001
Crawley soldier Jay Baldwin will hand-cycle 3,000 miles across America SUS-150731-145039001

A Crawley amputee ex-soldier said he was discriminated against by a town centre bar’s dress code.

Sgt Jay Baldwin, 30, of Southgate, had both his legs amputated above the knee while serving in Afghanistan.

Doormen, at around midnight on Saturday night (August 8), delayed his entry to the Octopvs bar in Crawley High Street because he was wearing shorts.

Mr Baldwin said it was discriminatory.

He said: “Quite clearly they haven’t done an equality and diversity brief.”

The owner Cristian Pierri said Mr Baldwin was delayed briefly and would be welcomed with shorts in the future.

He said the situation was ‘tricky’ for door staff who had to balance fairness for members of the public and Mr Baldwin’s ‘very good’ reasons for wearing shorts.

Mr Baldwin said wearing shorts was more comfortable, practical and safer as they let people know he was using prosthetic legs.

He was wearing formal clothes having returned from the wedding of Joel Salter, a solider who carried his stretcher when he suffered the life-changing injuries.

He was meeting friends at the bar after.

Mr Baldwin said the head doorman told him Mr Pierri had allowed him in but he would be denied entry in shorts in the future.

The encounter played on his mind and he left in half an hour.

He said equality and diversity practices needed people to be treated differently.

Mr Baldwin explained the Army made alternate arrangements to allow Muslim servicemen and women to pray in order to meet its equality and diversity standards.

He said being denied entry was showing ‘blatant disregard’ for non-discrimination.

Mr Pierri claimed Mr Baldwin left before he could be told he had been made exempt from the dress code rule.

He said door staff had raised money to help Mr Baldwin buy his prosthetics previously.

Mr Baldwin underwent pioneering surgery which saw him fitted with permanent implants on which to connect his prosthetics.

He travelled to Australia for the operation.

He lost his legs after he stepped on an improvised explosive device while serving with the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in January 2012.

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