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Car boot sale bans woman's guide dog

PUBLISHED: 15:59 08 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:03 03 July 2010

A BLIND woman was humiliated when she was ordered from the site of a packed car boot sale with her guide dog.

Jayne Stone had joined the large crowd at the popular bank holiday weekend event at Stalham football club on Sunday.

A BLIND woman was humiliated when she was ordered from the site of a packed car boot sale with her guide dog.

Jayne Stone had joined the large crowd at the popular bank holiday weekend event at Stalham football club on Sunday.

What she hoped would be an enjoyable few hours browsing for bargains with husband Chris came to an abrupt end when organisers told her that dogs were banned from the site.

Mrs Stone, from Belton, is partially sighted and has become increasingly reliant two year old guide dog Uschie, who has acted as her eyes for the last 11 months.

She said: “We had only been there a short time when this man came over and told me dogs were banned - I explained she was my guide dog, but he just did not want to know.

“This man just kept shouting at me, it was very embarrassing and humiliating to be spoken to like that in front of big group of people, I was really shaking.

“I needed my guide dog at the car boot sale as she helps me get up close to objects so I can see them better and is trained to cope with crowds.

“People just show a bit more consideration when you have a guide dog and my husband is able to go off and do his own thing if he wants to.

“Uschie was in harness and it was perfectly clear that she was a guide dog. The man said she had to leave because there is a problem with dog fouling, but she has been trained only to go on command.

“I was told that I could either carry her or put her in a trolley, which was just a ridiculous suggestion.

“She is very well behaved in harness and acts as my eyes, it has made a huge difference to me I couldn't cope without her.”

The grandmother of three, who is treasurer of the Great Yarmouth VIP group for visually impaired people, is considering legal action for discrimination following the incident.

A ban on dogs was introduced this year at the twice weekly car boot sale at Stalham football ground in Steppingstone Lane.

The event organiser, who did not wish to be named, defended his action and denied he was discriminating against blind people when contacted by the Mercury.

He said: “The ground was packed the lady had a sighted person with her and there was a big sign saying that no dogs were allowed.

“It would not have been safe for the dog with all the people going through there, it would have got trampled.

“Dogs mess is a real problem at the site especially as this is a sports ground, it gets bagged up and thrown in the hedge and then I am responsible for clearing it up.

“Somewhere like this is best suited to going round with a partner not a guide dog, I know because my grandmother was blind.”

Mrs Stone, 50, suffers from Stargardts disease and her eyesight has been deteriorating since developing the condition 18 years ago.

She has to use a magnifying glass to read and is unable to make out people's faces as a result of the disease which is untreatable.


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