Sunday, 10 Dec 2023

Gym-goer banned for life and fined £1,000 after dropping water bottle

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Businesswoman and teacher Caroline Farish says it feels like she was treated like an “animal”, as she reportedly found herself banned from her gym after 10 years of training at the same facility. The 36-year-old woman unintentionally broke glass next to a hot tub at Bannatyne Health Club in Dumfries, Scotland. That one accident, she said, had her decade-long gym subscription cancelled, leading to her being banned from the sports facility.

She was on her way to the hot tub when her plastic water bottle with a glass nozzle fell and shattered, requiring management to drain and refill the pool.

Caroline has also been ordered to pay £1,000 for draining and cleaning the pool by the health facility, owned by former Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne.

She told the Daily Record: “It was a complete accident and happened when I was with a friend and heading for the jacuzzi. It was nowhere near the pool.

“I immediately told the manager and staff who hoovered it up. It happened at night and there were only a few other people around.”

She added: “I could easily have left it to be cleaned up but I was honest and told them.”

Despite her honesty, she was forced to pay £1,000 for repairs.

She added: “But then I got a letter from Bannatyne’s giving me seven days to put in a statement of what happened.

“I did that but have had no acknowledgement, only a letter saying I am banned from life from the premises and the car park plus they want me to pay £1,000 for the draining and cleaning of the pool which they said was closed for eight days.”

Caroline was told by the gym their insurance would not cover the costs of her slip-up and was handed a 5-week notice to pay up.

“I am anxious about what happens after the deadline as they say it is a debt. I feel like I’m being treated like a criminal,” she said.

“They even took my bottle off me as if it was forensics for a murder case!”

She insisted: “I am a professional businesswoman with properties in the town and not a stupid wee girl.”

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A spokesperson for the Edinburgh Road health club said: “When broken glass gets into the pool it takes up to 36 hours to completely drain and refill the pool, meaning the actions of one person impacts significantly on every member.

“The signage is clear and the sanctions that may be imposed are displayed within the health club.”

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