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Friday, 06 July 2018

Diabetic woman awarded £2,000 after concert staff confiscated her drink

Written by Rebecca Black

A diabetic woman has been awarded £2,000 after staff at a concert confiscated her fizzy drink.

Kayla Hanna, 20, had been walking into a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Belfast in August 2016 when the incident happened.

She said she always carries Lucozade to ensure she can quickly top up her blood sugar level when she needs to.

The student, who has Type 1 diabetes, had just arrived for the gig at the Boucher Road playing fields when her bottle was confiscated.

Despite showing them her diabetes tattoo and insulin pack, the staff from Eventsec Ltd removed the drink, insisting they had a strict policy and could not allow her to takeit inside the venue.

Miss Hanna (pictured) said she then felt anxious and upset during the concert.

"I stood away from the area near the stage where my friends were because I was afraid something would happen to me and I would not have the Lucozade," she said.

"This had never happened me at other concerts I went to.

"I really hope that, now this issue has been brought to light, it won't happen again to me or other people who live with diabetes."

Miss Hanna contacted the Equality Commission, which supported her to bring a case before Belfast County Court alleging a breach of the Disability Discrimination Act.

The court made a finding of discrimination and Judge Gilpin stated that Eventsec had failed to provide a reasonable adjustment to its policy of not allowing liquids to be brought into the concert.

Mary Kitson, senior legal officer for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, said the Act is there to ensure people with disabilities are not denied access to services.

"In this case, the company should have made arrangements to ensure that Kayla could have accessed Lucozade during the concert if needed; for example, by directing her to its own medical centre at the venue and providing her with a bottle of Lucozade," she said.

"That would have been a simple adjustment and would have met her medical needs.

"The court has ruled that this was a breach of the law and awarded Kayla £2,000."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Equalities Commission for Northern Ireland / PA Wire.