The background to the events that lead to several court cases between Leighton and traders on Mill Road are now a matter of public record. In June 2016 Leightons partner wrote to the traders association asking it to support members in creating level access to their shops. On 18th August 2016 Leighton and her partner went to Mill road, bought items from several shops, and asked for access to 18 that they were unable to get into due to one or more steps.  At each of these shops Dr Gamwell asked for a ramp so that Leighton could enter.

After the visit Leighton wrote to 16 of the shop keepers setting out their responsibilities under the equality act and identifying the failure to make reasonable adjustments. Leighton received a number of replies from traders, but more than half the letters were ignored.

On 27th September 2016 Leighton returned to Mill Road and again attempted to access a number of shops. Some shops had improved access, but 8 had not. Dr Gamwell hand delivered letters to each of these shops after asking for a ramp and being told no ramp was present.

Mr Kahraman of Carlos BBQ took particular offence to the letter that was delivered to him, and chased Leighton down the street with the letter, which he ultimately shoved into the back of her wheelchair, moving her torso. You can find more details about that case here.

Several months later, when proceedings were issued, traders contacted the local paper as they were outraged at Leighton pursuing her legal rights under the Equality Act.