Man banned for life from a March pub over a pot of peppercorn sauce

Patrick Cox outside Weatherspoons Hippodrome in March.

Patrick Cox outside Weatherspoons Hippodrome in March. - Credit: Archant

A DISPUTE over a pot of peppercorn sauce costing just £1.02 has landed a 42 year old man with a life ban from The Hippodrome in March.

Patrick Cox, a regular at the Wetherspoon venue, went for a meal with his partner and two friends when the incident happened after ordering steak meals with three pots of sauce as extras.

Mr Cox, of Robingoodfellows Lane, said the problem began when the meals were brought to the table with one peppercorn sauce missing.

When he mentioned they needed one extra their waitress went to deal with the problem only to return with a receipt and a bad attitude, he said.

“She virtually shoved a receipt in my face and said I couldn’t have it because I hadn’t paid for it,” he said.

“The manageress came out and was also very rude and in my face saying I could have it once I had paid £1.02.

“I imagine it was a genuine mistake that it hadn’t been taken for when we ordered meals at the bar, but the way it was dealt with was unprofessional.”

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Mr Cox and his partner stayed drinking at the bar until almost midnight and two days later emailed head office about the incident.

Within days Wetherspoon wrote back saying he was now barred from the Hippodrome because of his “behaviour and offensive language.”

Mr Cox, whose father used to run the Bowling Green pub at Wisbech, said: “I used to work behind the bar and trust me I know what is abusive language and bad behaviour and I can assure you I was neither of those.

“If I was that bad surely they would have kicked me out there and then.”

Two further emails were sent to Wetherspoon HQ querying the decision and another letter came back saying he was barred indefinitely.

“It is laughable,” said Mr Cox.

“I’m a 42 year old man and I’ve been banned from my local over a pot of peppercorn sauce.”

Sophie Jennings, of Wetherspoon, said pubs were private places open to the public at the discretion of the local manager who was legally entitled to decide who to allow to enter and who to bar.

After viewing CCTV and following an internal investigation by the area manger the company has upheld the decision to indefinitely bar Mr Cox, she said.