Search

Islington sauna owner granted special licence amid “homophobic” opposition

12:40 20 May 2013

A licensing meeting has granted Paradise Spa licence despite complaints from the public

A licensing meeting has granted Paradise Spa licence despite complaints from the public

Archant

The owner of a gay sauna who branded opponents of his spa “homophobic” has controversially been given the green light to continue offering special treatments.

A council meeting heard how a “Bareback Party” and “Raw Heat Pig Party” had been advertised at Paradise Spa, Crouch Hill, on gay online forums.

Investigators who swooped on the address with police also found a swing attached by harness to the ceiling and cage with a dog bowl in the corner after being greeted by semi-naked men.

Porn, a laptop and widescreen TV were also found while a council inspector was told the spa gives out condoms for “safe play” after asking if the Bareback party was being held later that day.

Holding sex parties would be against Islington Council rules.

But owner, Chris Horwood, told last week’s licensing regulatory committee he had no idea about the advertised sex parties, and that they were organised by third parties and never took place.

Mr Horwood said: “Considering Islington’s diverse community, that they have the highest population of gay and lesbian people of all other London boroughs, why they don’t embrace this type of business like the other London boroughs do, I really don’t know.

“It has been one of the worst issues I’ve had to deal with and has just been hostility from day one.”

In an e-mail sent to a council officer shown to the meeting he also branded complaints received as “malicious and homophobic”.

His lawyer, Chris Spence, also suggested the council was being hypocritical – because gay people were using council-run swimming pools and fitness centres for encounters.

One quick Google search of “gay sex Islington”, he told the meeting, throws up a number of websites of homosexuals talking about meet-ups at council-run facilities.

Mr Horwood had been applying for a Special Treatments Licence to provide sauna and steam room facilities after his previous one expired. Complaints had also been received from nearby residents.

But the licensing committee granted the 12-month licence despite objections from council officer Katie Tomashevski, who raised concerns licensing rules were being flouted after visiting the premises with police in October last year.

Mr Spence said there was no evidence pornography had been shown on the premises and that no sex had ever taken place on-site despite there being curtained-off booths.

He added the online parties advertised had not been promoted by Mr Horwood and that the harness and cage, which have since been removed, were merely to create an “atmosphere of masculinity”.

Paradise Spa advertises itself openly as a gay sauna on its website and charges £13 for entry,

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

07:00
Jeremy Corbyn leaves his Holloway home yesterday morning: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Councillors from Islington Labour Group are facing allegations that it doesn’t support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party.

Yesterday, 17:30
The team at Cobble Lane Cured

Usually, cured meats such as ham, salami and bresoala are associated with our European counterparts.

Yesterday, 16:01
Headteacher Damien Parrott and Solihull coordinator Yasmin Stephenson with some of the children

A Highbury primary school is handing out free parenting courses in a UK-first pilot scheme.

Yesterday, 14:15
Sgt Hugh Victor Hember in his uniform

“I have heard of our post being stopped and everything is being censored. Don’t be scared or worried if a sentence has had a rubber to wash it out.. Tell mother I received Isobel’s letter. I must close now. Love to you all, Vic.”

Yesterday, 11:11
James Casey. Picture: Metropolitan Police

The crook who stole an Islington vicar’s dead wife’s jewellery has been jailed for three years - and Rev Simon Harvey last night said he wants to meet him.

Tue, 17:34
Henry Hicks died in December 2014

The police officers involved in the pursuit of Henry Hicks in the lead up to his death face losing their jobs if allegations of gross misconduct against them are proven.

Tue, 15:27
Borough commander Catherine Roper, who made the revelations in a police statement today

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has recommended that the four police officers involved in the death of teenager Henry Hicks “have a case to answer for gross misconduct”, Islington borough commander Catherine Roper has revealed today.

Tue, 14:49
Mark Mick

A bungling robber is today behind bars after he stole a woman’s phone – but left his own at the scene.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe