Reader Letter: Response to staff mocking man with stammer at Sprowston Sainsbury’s comes as no surprise

Phil Bunning who has a speech impediment. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Phil Bunning who has a speech impediment. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

As someone who stammers, and I am sure for many others who do, Phil Bunning's experience at Sprowston Sainsbury's petrol station is no surprise.

As someone who stammers, and I am sure for many others who do, Phil Bunning's experience at Sprowston Sainsbury's petrol station is no surprise.

In fairness, because of the lack of awareness of stammering, many people genuinely misinterpret it and joke with you about it meaning well. They interpret it as some sort of 'silly moment'.

The 'crunch' however is when explaining you stammer and whether they apologise or take offence. In Mr Bunning's case it seems they ignored him.

MORE: Civil servant with lifelong stammer claiming Sainsbury's petrol station workers laughed at his speech disorder

There is an irony in those employees thinking he had been drinking. It compares to the 'classic' case of the lady who stammers who went to a pub bar.


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Her stammer was interpreted as her having had too much to drink so they refused to serve her.

When she stammered trying to explain she stammers they thought she was winding them up so told her to leave.

MORE: If you like to poke fun at a stammer then shame on you

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While some find that ironically amusing it is not a joke, it really happened.

Another recent case is the lady in Stone, Staffordshire, who complained about a bus driver laughing at her stammer.

The online comments made about her were disgraceful.

Of course they were made by cowards hiding behind pseudonyms, not having the courage to put their names to letters in the Stoke Sentinel, which reported it, or say such things in public.

Speaking in public is not something those of us who stammer can avoid completely, even if just to pay for petrol or order a round.

John Thompson, Dell Road, Oulton Bro

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