A Herne Bay pub has come under fire after turfing out a disabled ex-soldier touring Britain’s coastline on a mobility scooter... because his cats caused a nuisance.
Mark Newton, 48, made his way to Herne Bay on Monday with cats Missy and Smudge on an extraordinary 11,000 mile journey around Britain to raise money for five charities.
Mr Newton is raising money for charities who supported him after he suffered a life-threatening injury while he was a serviceman in Cyprus in 1991.
On Tuesday he was drinking in the Saxon Shore pub in Central Parade but was forced to leave after clashing with a duty manager over his pets.
Mark said: “The duty manager wasn’t too happy about my cats in the yard and I think they got fed up so asked me to leave.
“It was really petty to be honest because my cats are on a lead. They aren’t like the local cats who come and go as they please.
“I was annoyed because it put a downer on my time here in Herne Bay.
“I’d been in the pub on and off for 36 hours and two hours before I left the pub I emailed Wetherspoons to say how lovely they were.
“I’ve sent one since to retract it.”
After he left the pub Mark stayed at the Tesco Express in Canterbury Road before he left for Broadstairs.
Following news of Mark’s ejection supporters expressed their disapproval on the pub’s Facebook page, saying they were “disgusted”.
David Fell wrote: “This establishment threw out an ex-serviceman travelling coast to coast raising money for Help for Heroes, the RNLI, the SSFA and British Legion. They are a disgrace. Avoid.”
While Tracey Wiffen added: “Evicting a disabled ex-serviceman AFTER he has had a drink and forcing him to ride his mobility scooter! Disgusting behaviour.”
“It was really petty to be honest because my cats are on a lead. They aren’t like the local cats who come and go as they please" - Mark Newton
Wetherspoons spokesman Eddie Gershon says an area manager met Mr Newton to clear the air following the incident, which breached the pub’s no pets policy.
He said: “We understand the man’s disappointment in that he was raising money for charity and the cats were there for company.
“However we do have a strict no pets policy and our staff acted accordingly.
“Our area manager met him on Tuesday morning and explained the situation and he seemed to take it on board.
“As a gesture we have offered Mark some Wetherspoons vouchers to use either for himself or as part of his fundraising initiative.”
Welshman Mark served with the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards and is raising money for the regiment’s benevolent fund as well as Help for Heroes, the RNLI, SSAFA and the Royal British Legion.
He hopes to end his tour at the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland later this summer.
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