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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Store faces disabled access writ
Greg Jackson holding the writ
Greg Jackson travelled to London to serve the writ
A Derby wheelchair user has become the first person to use the Disability Discrimination Act to prosecute a firm for lack of access.

Greg Jackson, 43, said he cannot get around the Debenhams shop in Derby.

He said: "There's a significant section of the menswear department that I can't access. It's three or four steps high and there is no lift, there's no ramp."

The firm said it is awaiting the outcome of an independent audit of its Victoria Street site in the city.

On Friday Mr Jackson served a writ at its London headquarters, for flouting part of the Disability Discrimination Act.

'Second class service'

His case is being backed by Disability Rights Commission.

Spokeswoman Cathy Casserley said: "Debenhams is a large retailer - it had over 100m profit last year. It's got 123 stores and they really haven't addressed physical access.

"In Mr Jackson's case they've effectively given him a second class service and under the law that's not good enough."

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) came into force on 1 October last year.

Part 3 states all service providers must alter, adapt or remove physical barriers that make it unreasonably difficult for disabled people to receive fair treatment.

In a statement, Debenhams said: "We have carried out an independent audit of the Derby store, and have met and worked with the Disability Rights Commission. We await their response."


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