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Dorset Couple Left Hospitalised After Venezuela Holiday

Gastric Illness On Holiday


A couple from Dorset have instructed Irwin Mitchell Solicitors to help them take legal action after suffering severe gastric illness at the Costa Caribe resort in Venezuela.

The couple also required hospital treatment after a knife attack on a local beach.

Paul Sparrow and his partner Valerie Roberts suffered severe sickness, diarrhoea, sweating and fever-like symptoms after just two days of their First Choice holiday.

Mr Sparrow said that levels of hygiene and safety in the resort were appalling: “The hygiene was so poor, particularly in the restaurant. The food was warm at best, it was left uncovered and there were so many flies around. The sauce trays in particular often had dead flies lying in them. To top it all off there were birds, wild cats and dogs all around the restaurant.”

The holiday went from bad to worse when the couple were attacked and repeatedly stabbed by a group of local men while on the beach in front of the hotel. The couple both needed urgent medical attention after the attack.

Ms Roberts was left with cuts on her throat, a puncture wound in her back and cuts across her arm, knees and legs. Mr Sparrow was left with a stab wound to the hand and cut across his fingers. He was also hit on the head with a rock and tied up by his neck with a rope.

The attack has left the couple unable to enjoy going out as much as they did previously. Ms Roberts said: “I tend to feel jumpy when I’m out in town particularly if I can hear anyone behind me. At times it can come back to me and I just feel cold inside.”

Mr Sparrow added: “The holiday was a complete nightmare. It has left me and my partner feeling anxious about travelling again and we feel that First Choice should compensate us for the poor standards of the hotel.”

Mark Watts, a member of Irwin Mitchell’s specialist International Travel Litigation Team said: “This is an appalling case. It displays the total lack of care First Choice has shown towards protecting their customers from illness and injury.

“Had First Choice shown due care and ensured effective health and safety measures were in place, much of the couple’s suffering could have been avoided. We would like anyone else who has suffered from illness at the Costa Caribe resort to contact us.”