A CAFÉ has apologised after a blind woman was denied entry - when staff refused to let her guide dog inside the premises with her.

Carlisle resident Linda Bennett, 68, tried to enter Annie’s Café on Monday and was told by a barista that she had to leave as 'dogs are not allowed in here.'

Bennett explained that she was blind and cannot navigate or even hold her balance properly without her guide dog, Uni.

But the barista explained that ‘the boss wouldn’t like it’ and again told her she couldn’t enter the premises.

Linda said: "They were not empathetic at all. It made me feel very upset. I’ve never, ever been refused entry before, even in the best restaurants, they’re always understanding of my guide dog.

"In the end we went across the road and there wasn’t a problem there, they let me straight in. I was in complete shock the whole day."

A statement from the Access All Areas Campaign said: "Under the Equality Act, guide dog and other assistance dog owners have the right to enter most services, premises and vehicles with their dog.

"Our research shows that the most frequent places that guide dog owners are refused access to are minicabs, taxis, restaurants and shops."

But Dianne Scott, manager of Annie’s Café, commented on the incident, saying: "The girl who told the lady to leave is a new starter and wasn’t aware that guide dogs are actually allowed into the shop.

"It was crossed wires and we couldn’t apologise enough to Ms Bennett, we do not discriminate against anyone and we welcome everyone, so it’s really upsetting that this has happened.

"We would love to invite her back in for free tea and lunch as an apology, at any time."