8-Year-Old Girl's Dad Busted for Singing Happy Birthday to Her

happy birthdayIt was supposed to be a day of happiness and joy for Cara Doherty who was celebrating her 8th birthday. Then before she could even blow out her candles, it turned into a big old mess that ended up with police being called. All because her dad sang "Happy Birthday" to her.

It happened in London at a place called Clown Town. It's a kids' play place that sounds kind of a like our Chuck E. Cheese or something. According to Barnet and Whetsone Press, the problem was that her parents didn't buy the $450 birthday package. They had reportedly tried to get one previously but were told no more were available. So they showed up anyway with six parents and 18 kids, and since the place was virtually empty, they thought they were okay. 

A waitress told them that since they didn't have the package they couldn't have a cake there nor could they sing "Happy Birthday." But who is going to seriously believe that's actually a rule anyone would enforce?

Not Cara's dad, Colm Doherty.

He told the paper:

I thought this was ridiculous and we did have our cake and lit candles, and when this lady came striding over I went up to her and told her not to disrupt my daughter’s party and blocked her way. I understand she phoned the police afterwards.

Seriously. Clown Town refutes Doherty's account saying, "the female member of staff who spoke to Mr Doherty  felt threatened by his intimidating behaviour during the incident." Clown Town manager Ian Slazenger told the paper:

Had he been honest about the fact that he intended to bring his own food into the play area when he arrived that day, and had he chosen not to ignore our reasonable request not to do so, there would have been no need for our employees to become involved.

Well first off, it's not a reasonable request. Not letting someone bring in an outside cake is one thing, though it's pretty low. But trying to stop someone from singing "Happy Birthday" or any song really is just all sorts of wrong. And it should be noted that the Doherty's had already spent about $400 on food, drinks, and entry for the party guests. So it's not like they were just there to have cake and nothing else.

Fortunately, no charges were filed, but still what a power trip move by Clown Town. While Doherty clearly disobeyed the rules, you'd think a kid-friendly place like Clown Town could have done something a lot less disruptive than calling the police. It was only cake, and this was an 8-year-old's birthday at stake.

Do you think it was wrong for this play place to call the cops on this dad?


Image via Shardayyy/Flickr

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sand008 sand008

Call the cops for real emergencies. That's so petty

abra819 abra819

Im with the establishment, that dude sounds like a tool.Follow the rules loser.

Stama... Stamatina79

Its a stupid rule. Ill sing happy birthday to my kids whenever i want. I applaud that dad fpr blocking the waitress

Stama... Stamatina79

Wtf? What a bullshit rule that you cant sing happy birthday....id break it too!

bills... billsfan1104

Not singing happy birthday is a stupid rule. Demanding them not bring in outside food is for liability sakes. Because if someone gets sick off the outside food, they can try to blame the establishment

Jai Hutto

Rules are rules and he WAS told BEFORE the party that bringing in outiside food wasn't allowed...he did it anyway. As parents we are supposed to set an EXAMPLE for our children and following the rules is a very important way of being a good example. In some opinions, it may be a dumb rule, but it's THIER rule and if he didn't like it he should have had the party somewhere else. Grow up, people!

Nelli... NellieAthome

Establishments like that pay a fee for every time "Happy Birthday" is sung on the premises - he did not buy the party package thus he did not pay the fee to the establishment but they will still pay the license fee because it was sung on their premises.


He knew the rules the day before but chose to ignore them and go there anyway.  He could have had the party anywhere else  - they could have *gasp*  eaten there and then gone home for cake and singing. 


He is a parent and, like Jai Hutto said - as a parent he should be teaching his children to follow rules instead of teaching them to ignore the rules when it doesn't suit them.

nonmember avatar layla

The cops were not called for singing happy birthday but for aggressive customer. I read another version of the story on
http://www.clowntown.co.uk/Clowntown_Statement.php

craft... craftycatVT

I read on another site that the girl's mother phoned the previous day to request a party package. Who in the world waits until the day before to try and find a party venue?

nonmember avatar MamaD

I spent over 300 dollars one yr for my oldest at chucky cheese and the following yr we went again to the same place but didn't do the whole bday package but where able to bring a cake from outside we just could not sit in the bday section this dad rocks for trying to give his Lil girl a special day regardless of some stupid "rule " he still spent tons of money!! god for bid he didn't buy one of there cakes!!! He was going to buy one but it clearly says that the place ran out for all we know he could have still got the bday package and got some money off for them not having a cake I know lots of places that do that!!!

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