A PUB chain has now admitted one of its contracted doorstaff did refuse entry to a scarred Army veteran because of his appearance.
Former soldier James Dalby, 23, from York, was caught in an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan in 2010 leaving him with shrapnel and burn which scarred his face, along with a fractured eye socket, broken leg and third degree burns.
But when Mr Dalby, who was medically discharged from the Army as a result of his injuries, tried to visit Yates’ bar in York on Saturday (March 30) a member of door staff is alleged to have told one of his friends it was because of his scars and that “it looks bad”.
Mr Dalby said he was initially told he could not come in as he was dressed too casually. Initially, Yates’ released a statement saying that after an investigation it had concluded a group of customers were refused entry because they “did not meet the dress code in place for that evening which applies to the wearing of sportswear/hooded tops”.
The allegations provoked a storm of protest on social media, with people leaving furious messages on the bar’s Facebook page and other sites.
Today (Thursday, April 3), however, the company issued a fresh statement and apologised to Mr Dalby, confirming an “inappropriate remark” was made by a member of the contracted door team.
A spokesperson for Yates’ said: “We would like to apologise to James Dalby and his friends for refusing entry to James on their visit to Yates, York.
“Having fully investigated the incident we confirm an inappropriate remark was made by a member of the contracted door team who has subsequently been removed from the site.
"As a company we have always supported those who have been in action on behalf of our country and over the years we have raised many thousands of pounds for military charities and will continue to do so.
"Our full and frank apology has been made to James which he has accepted.”
Mr Dalby confirmed he accepted the apology following a two hour meeting with the chief operations officer of Stonegate Pub Company, which runs Yates’, and asked that people call off the demonstration; due to be held on April 26.
He said in a statement: “My friends and I have received a full apology from the directors/company that operate Yates' regarding the incident with the door staff having been refused entry.
"I am happy that the matter has now been resolved and I can now move on and wish no further action or demonstration be made on my behalf.”