A gay sauna in Manchester has been heavily criticised by a coroner at the inquest following the death of a man who was found dead after lying in his own faeces for two hours.
Coroner Nigel Meadows said conditions at the H2O sauna in Manchester’s gay village included blood on the walls and faeces and urine in the sauna area, increasing the risk of HIV and hepatitis infection.
The inquest into the death of Stephen Green, 46, found that he was found dead in a rest room in the sauna on 17 March 2013.
John McMahon, an attendant at the sauna, had found Green’s body in the room but had assumed he was asleep. He prodded him, and when he got no response, he cleaned faeces off his body.
A different attendant, Stanimir Atanasov, went into the rest room two hours later at 6am, and found that Green was dead, at which point he called an ambulance.
It was found that he had high levels of amphetamine and caffeine in his system, which was compounded by a heart condition.
According to a report by Mancunian Matters, the inquest also heard that staff “often” went around to clean up faeces from the sauna.
McMahon, however, denied that it was “common practice” for staff to do so, but admitted that he had done so “in the past”.
The coroner questioned sauna manager Wayne Battersby on the issue, who also denied that was the case.
Battersby was also questioned on why bodily fluids and needles used by attendees to inject their penises in order to keep them erect, were placed in normal bin bags. He said that McMahon should not have cleaned up the faeces and said it was not protocol for staff to do so.
The coroner also questioned why nobody was called the first time Green was discovered, and said it was not possible to determine an accurate time of death.
A report was also issued by Manchester City Council which described that food was prepared by the same staff members who came into contact with faeces and blood.
The coroner asked: “You clean up excrement and then go and handle food which you then give to the customers?”
Confirmation was given that staff wore gloves when cleaning and then were instructed to wash their hands, but the report and the coroner both raised concerns over food being prepared on the premises, and suggested that pre-packed sandwiches be sold instead.
The council was ordered to return to the venue to ensure that procedure was being followed.
“This is not a judgement of morals but merely a matter of health and safety,” he said.
Mr Battersby said he had taken steps to ensure that environmental health hygiene recommendations were being carried out.
Green’s sister Amanda, said he had complained a week earlier of chest pains, and that she became concerned when he did not return home at the usual time. She said he suffered from mental health issues, as well as those to do with his heart and liver, but that he did not take medication because he preferred to drink alcohol instead.
Despite the deceased having bruising to the right side of his neck and upper lip, a doctor giving evidence said that there was no evidence of sexual assault.