Scottish & Newcastle has been ordered to pay £3,000 to a woman with learning difficulties after a court ruled that one of its pubs had discriminated against her.

The award is the highest made yet under the section of the Disability Discrimination Act that makes it illegal to refuse goods or services to a disabled person.

A tribunal heard that Mary McKay was asked to leave the Olde Valentine pub in Gant's Hill, Essex, during a visit with a worker from a local charity, Uniting Friends, which supports people with learning difficulties. The tribunal heard that Miss McKay skipped as she entered the pub and her companion was asked by the doorman to "keep her in order".

The tribunal was also told that the pub manager was abusive, and shouted to staff across the bar that the two should not be served any more drinks. In evidence, two other young people with learning difficulties recounted similar experiences.

After the case an S&N spokeswoman, Claire Jobe, claimed that the pub manager had "politely" asked Miss McKay's carer to keep the noise down, as he believed that they were disrupting other customers' enjoyment. Jobe claimed her carer "became abusive and was subsequently asked to leave."