Train enthusiast with mental age of four ordered to remove Thomas the Tank Engine costume

Mail Online | 8/26/2019 | Harry Howard For Mailonline
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An adult with the mental age of four was ordered to remove his fancy dress costume at a Thomas the Tank Engine event, because he was 'impersonating a member of staff'.

Gareth Bell, 27, who has a rare neurogenetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome - which causes severe intellectual disabilities - dressed up as a station master to attend the event at Brechin's Caledonian Railway, in Angus, near Dundee, on Saturday.

Mother - Laurie - Alexander - Family - Mr

Mother Laurie Alexander said the family were shocked when they were told Mr Bell would have to remove his hat, jacket and tie on health and safety grounds.

Mrs Alexander, from Dundee, said her train enthusiast son was also told to sit away from all the other visitors before boarding for fear of mistaken identity.

'I'm totally broken and can't stop crying about what happened,' she said.

'Gareth has Angelman Syndrome and he's a gentle giant. He is a toddler in a big man's body.

Man - Gareth - Hat - Jacket - Tie

'The man asked if Gareth could remove his hat, jacket and tie because he was impersonating a member of staff. I was also told he had to sit further along the platform away from all the other visitors.

'They blamed health and safety.'

Gareth - Thomas - Uniform - Station - Bench

Gareth eventually travelled on Thomas with his uniform left behind on the station bench.

Mrs Alexander said the experience was hugely upsetting.

Trains - Thomas

'Gareth has always loved trains and he adores Thomas,' she said.

'I just wanted the ground to swallow me up and I thought I was going to start crying. But...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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