Student, 20, wins £20k in compensation after Lucozade bottle confiscated at gig

A student who had a bottle of Lucozade confiscated by security staff at a concert has now been awarded £2,000 in compensation.

Kayla Hanna, 20, told the guards she needed the fizzy drink to maintain her blood sugar levels for her diabetes.

She even showed the employees her tattoos on her wrist that indicated her condition and her insulin pack, Belfast Live today reports.

But the overzealous workers took the Lucozade off Kayla at the Red Hot Chilli Peppers gig in Balmoral, Belfast.

Then aged 18, it left the music student "very anxious and upset" during the show as she feared she’d become seriously ill.

But now Kayla, of Belfast, has been awarded £2,000 after a judge ruled Eventsec, which employed the staff, was in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Kayla had the support of The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, which felt Eventsec should have been able to make "simple adjustments" to meet the woman’s medical needs.

Kayla, who has Type 1 diabetes, said: "I carry Lucozade with me at all times as it gives me the glucose I need if my blood sugar levels go down.

"When the security guard told me I couldn’t bring the bottle in I told her of my condition and showed her the tattoos on my wrist which indicate I have diabetes.

"She said that, ‘anyone could have that’ so I also showed her my insulin pack and the meter used to check my levels.

"She consulted with another guard and they insisted that they had a strict policy and they would not allow me to bring the drink inside."

She added: "I was very anxious and upset throughout 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.

"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."

Mary Kitson, senior legal officer of Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, said: "These are the kind of circumstances in which the reasonable adjustment provisions in the Disability Discrimination Act can be most beneficial.

"They are in the Act to ensure that people with disabilities are not denied access to services by reason of general policies which can, in themselves, be otherwise justifiable and necessary.

"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.

"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.”

But Eventsec says it is disappointed with the court’s decision.

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The Belfast-based company said: "We are heartened by Judge Gilpin’s comments that he had no concern about the general policy of prohibiting patrons from bring their own fizzy drinks to concerts and that this policy had much to commend it.

"We are further glad to note that the Judge acknowledged that the company had considered what reasonable adjustments needed to be put in place in order to meet the needs of those patrons with diabetes.

"Our normal practice when implemented is in compliance with our duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Disability Discrimination Act.

"We are pleased that the Plaintiff confirmed during her evidence that she had attended, without problems, many other concerts at which we provided stewarding and security.

"The facts surrounding this case were an isolated incident.

"The company would remind all patrons who need to manage a medical condition via food and drink to contact the concert promoter in advance of attending the concert.

"Patrons are further reminded that there are clearly marked medical facilities at concerts with highly trained medical staff (including doctors and nurses) who are able to provide treatment and assistance for many medical conditions, including diabetes."

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