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Woman hospitalised after drinking contaminated water at Hinton Firs

RESIDENTS living at a Bournemouth hotel were forced to take water from an outdoor swimming pool because of water supply issues.

The three individuals living at Hinton Firs Hotel, which included a 14-year-old ‘vulnerable’ girl, had to use the pool when their supply was cut off following legionnaires concerns.

BCP Council sought a closure for the site last autumn after finding it had “failed to comply with several enforcement notices”.

The local authority had ordered the hotel to clean and disinfect its water systems which were at risk of legionnaires disease, and remove a rubbish pile which was attracting rats.

Other issues were reportedly flagged about electrics and fire safety within the building, and the swimming pool not having a system to remove rain and stagnant water.

Poole Magistrates’ Court granted a three-month long closure order in November, which owner Moses Meisels argued was the wrong decision.

Mr Meisels appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on Tuesday, April 2, in appeal.

He told the court how he and staff did ‘everything they could’ to comply with the enforcement notices issued by BCP Council.

He said that materials to clean and disinfect the water, as well as new water tanks and pipes, had been ordered to the hotel, and the pest problems had been dealt with by rat poison and rubbish removal.

Mr Meisels added that the outdoor pool was fenced off and hadn’t been used for years, noting Hinton Firs closed to the public last summer.

But at the time the closure order was granted, there was no water supply at the hotel and its three residents had ended up taking water from the pool, the court heard.

Prosecutor Hannah Douglas said, “it is only through luck and good fortune that no one has become unwell”.

She suggested that “sufficient steps were not taken” in order to fix the problems at Hinton Firs.

Summarising, Judge William Mousley KC said: “We are satisfied that there was a long history of non-compliance with notices.

“We are quite satisfied that there was a likeliness of serious nuisance being caused to the public.

“We are satisfied there was a risk of serious harm to the public if this situation had been allowed to continue.

“We are quite satisfied that it was necessary for this premises to be closed.”

The appeal was dismissed and the hotel was ordered to pay costs of £2,830.

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