Mum ‘banned from bingo for trying to treat homeless man to a coffee’

A warm-hearted mum says she was banned for life twice by Mecca Bingo after trying to befriend a homeless man.

Sue Francis first ran into trouble after buying a cup of coffee from her club to give to shivering Darren Genery outside.

She said: “I saw Darren with his dog Jess, they are inseparable.

“They were both soaking wet because it was pouring down.

“Darren was looking really ill and his feet were so swollen he could barely walk. I went inside to get him a hot drink but as I was buying a coffee, I heard a member of staff say, ‘She’s not taking that outside’, I said ‘Shame on you. You’ve got a roof over your head. He hasn’t, he’s very ill.’ ”

Weeks later Mecca wrote to Sue saying that after “reviewing” the incident they were banning her.

Mum-of-three Sue, 58, a member of Mecca Bingo for 23 years, protested to the manager of Mecca Stockton and said the ban was lifted. But her big heart got her into another row.

Sue asked Darren if he would like to go to bingo with her as a Christmas treat. She said: “His face lit up, he was so pleased.”

She claims, however, she was not allowed to take Darren inside. She said: “I’m ashamed of the club. This is utterly disgraceful.”

Sue, from Stockton-on-Tees, said she was banned again.

But she still plans a day out for Darren and locals have been rallying to help, with a police officer dropping off gifts for him.

Now a voluntary litigation friend, Sue said of Darren, who is in his 30s: “He sits quietly with his dog and asks at times for change. He’s never been in our faces.”

Mecca said: “We don’t enter discussions about our customers’ membership with third parties.”

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