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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 19:43 GMT
Dog-lead goths 'hounded off bus'
Goths picture by Ross Parry agency
Chain male goth Dani Graves and Tasha Maltby, Picture Ross Parry

A goth who leads his girlfriend around with a dog lead and collar was stopped from getting on a bus amid fears for passenger safety, a bus firm confirmed.

Dani Graves, 25, and his fiancee Tasha Maltby, 19, of Dewsbury, West Yorks, claim they have been discriminated against by bus firm Arriva Yorkshire.

The black-clad couple said they had been told to leave one bus and prevented from boarding another.

The bus firm said safety came first, but it was investigating the complaint.

Mr Graves told BBC Look North: "We're used to strange looks, we're used to comments.

"But we didn't expect it from someone like that. They're providing a public service. We had our bus passes, we did everything that you are supposed to do to get on a bus."

Miss Maltby said she came up with the idea to wear a dog lead, and said previous boyfriends had called her a "weirdo" when she suggested it.

She's very animal like, she's kind of like a pet, as well as a partner
Dani Graves

The couple said they "loved each other to pieces" and the use of the lead was a "sign of trust".

Mr Graves said: "She's very animal like, she's kind of like a pet, as well as a partner."

He said he "does everything" for his girlfriend, including laying out clothes for her, feeding her and cleaning their house.

He said: "You wouldn't expect your cat or dog to do the washing up or cleaning round the house."

Firm apology

Bus operator Arriva claimed other passengers could be put at risk if the bus braked sharply.

Operations director for Arriva Yorkshire, Paul Adcock, said: "Arriva takes any allegation of discrimination very seriously and have interviewed the driver regarding Mr Graves' claims.

"Our primary concern is passenger safety and while the couple are very welcome to travel on our buses, we are asking that Miss Maltby remove her dog lead before boarding the bus.

"It could be dangerous for the couple and other passengers if a driver had to brake sharply while Miss Maltby was wearing the lead."

The company said it was writing to Mr Graves "to apologise for any distress caused by the way this matter was handled".


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