Butlin's settles with deaf guests

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BUTLIN'S HAS made out-of-court settlements to nine deaf guests who said they were evicted from their chalets and thrown out of a holiday camp by security guards.

The claimants alleged 58 deaf guests were ejected from Butlin's camp at Pwllheli, North Wales, by staff who pulled out fuses and cut off heat and water. Guests said security guards had shouted: "Out! Out! Out! All Deaf Out!"

Butlin's expelled the guests after a disturbance in one of the camp's nightclubs on New Year's Eve 1997 prompted complaints from other holidaymakers. But yesterday the company apologised to the nine claimants, accepting they had done nothing wrong and paying each an undisclosed sum.

Carl Miller, one of the successful deaf claimants, said the nine were delighted by the outcome. "For a holiday company which advertises that it is so disability-friendly, their lack of deaf awareness and disgraceful attitude is totally appalling."

Tony Marshall, Butlin's managing director, said: "Our actions were taken with ... the safety and security of our other guests in mind. However, we acknowledge Mr Miller and his party were not involved in the incidents at the centre and apologise for any distress that may have been caused. We are particularly saddened by these events, as Butlin's welcomes people with special needs."