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Here’s a rather unfortunate tale from my neck of the woods where Joe Coyle, a 22-year-old man with cerebral palsy, was refused service in the Governor’s House pub in Cheadle Hulme despite reportedly providing nine separate forms of ID. Reading between the lines it does seem like one of those “six of one and half a dozen of the other stories” – he clearly looks about 15, so it was entirely reasonable for the pub to ask for ID, but they were then overzealous about it resulting in him becoming abusive towards them. If the pub staff really did suggest that they wouldn’t let him in because he might become “mentally unstable” then that is totally out of order and will do their reputation a lot of harm.

However, the real villain of the peace is surely the climate of hysteria about underage drinking that makes pubs feel compelled to operate “Challenge 25” policies in the first place and fearful of the consequences if they don’t follow them to the letter.

There’s another pub just across the road – the Church – so I wonder if he and his friends tried there and got a better reception. Plus five other pubs within half a mile. As an aside, Cheadle Hulme is one of those rare places that has seen an increase in the number of actual pubs (not just bars) in the past twenty years.

You also have to wonder what kind of “friends” would let him stay outside while they finished their drinks.