Gay sauna defends safety policy at tribunal after drug deaths
The owner of a gay sauna in south London has told a coroner that its drug searches have become “more aggressive” following several fatal overdoses.
Konstantinos Bampatzis was found dead in a locked private room after taking mephedrone and GHB at Pleasuredrome in Waterloo on 25 February 2012.
Eight months earlier, two other men also died following visits to the sauna where they had consumed GHB.
Greg Page, 41, head of communications at pharmaceutical giant Roche, was found dead at Pleasuredrome on 27 October 2012.
Coroner Dr Andrew Harris questioned the sauna’s proprietor, Charles Hill, over Pleasuredrome’s drug policy and alleged lack of emergency lighting in the building.
It was claimed this made it difficult for paramedics to locate unconscious customers.
Mr Hill insisted that drug searches had become “more aggressive” since Mr Bampatzis’ death and said Pleasuredrome now had a reputation for being clean.
He added the sauna complex was now fitted out with emergency strip lights which staff could switch on at any time.
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Coroner Dr Harris recorded a narrative verdict into Mr Bampatzis’ death.
“His death was drug related from a combination of mephedrone and GHB,” he ruled.
“There is no evidence the drugs were forcibly given to him and there is no evidence he tried to take his life.”
The coroner went on to say it was “possible” the sauna’s zero tolerance to drugs was not being implemented “aggressively” enough at the time but was assured changes had been made.
The inquest continues.
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