Swimming pool ban for disabled gran
PUBLISHED: 15:05 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:29 01 July 2010
A SEVERELY disabled woman claims she was treated abominably after the council banned her from using a swimming pool.
A SEVERELY disabled woman claims she was treated 'abominably' after the council banned her from using a swimming pool.
Community nurse, Lynne Hughesdon, of Oxhawth Crescent, Petts Wood, was told by managers of Bromley council's leisure services, MyTime, that she wouldn't be allowed to come back to the pool after an argument with two teenage girls, who she alleges harassed her.
She said: "If they can get away with treating me like this then how many others will they mistreat? I feel really hurt by the council, it's like I'm some sort of criminal. I made a lot of friends at the pool who I miss."
Grandmother Mrs Hughesdon, 50, was a gold member at the pool and swam regularly after she was advised by a consultant that it would be good for her serious spine problem, arthritis and osteoporosis.
The Darrick Wood pool, in Lovibonds Avenue, Orpington, was exceptionally busy when she was taking her normal evening swim on September 2.
She is only 5ft and weighs about seven stone but says she got in to an argument with two teenage girls who were bigger then her. She said: "By the size of them, they looked about 18 or 19. They kept pulling at my costume and dragging me back. They did it for about half an hour then one girl deliberately thrust in to me which really hurt.
"I snapped and told them "If you do that again I'll bash you." I know I shouldn't have said it but they drove me to it."
Mrs Hughesdon was called to a meeting later in the week with three MyTime managers where she found out the girls were 15 and 16. She was banned for threatening a minor.
She said: "They didn't even listen to my point of view and in the end I left because I had tears in my eyes and I didn't want them to see my crying. It was extremely embarrassing.
"They read out four statements which said I'd stood with my hands on my hips and threatened the girls. But bearing in mind that I'm only 5ft and it was near the deep end I don't see how that could have happened."
Mrs Hughesdon's husband, Phil, has taken up her battle with the council and is demanding an apology.
He said: "Colliding in to my wife like that could have given her a serious injury or even paralysed her.
"They were not in the least bit interested in the fact that Lynne had been physically assaulted and they banned her from the pool until next year.
A spokesman for Bromley MyTime said: "We have invited Mrs Hughesdon to go through an appeals procedure. It is always difficult to deal with these sorts of incidents retrospectively. We try to give everybody a fair chance to have their say but we had to take this very seriously since it was from a minor who felt vulnerable."