Belfast Telegraph

Drunk Northern Ireland man spent £7,500 at lap dancing club in England

By Adrian Rutherford

A Northern Ireland man who spent £7,500 after arriving drunk at a lapdancing club has claimed staff "grossly exploited" him.

He maxed out three credit cards - spending a third of his salary in one night - while on a stag do in England.

The incident is alleged to have occurred at the Spearmint Rhino in Bournemouth.

He claims he was plied with alcohol until he lost control of his senses, and ended up spending vast amounts on 'Rhino chips', which buy private dances.

After waking up the next morning he discovered credit card receipts showing £7,500 had been taken in 13 transactions.

These included £1,176 in two dealings just two minutes apart.

Another £2,304 was taken in three separate transactions eight minutes apart, and £2,928 in three incidents which were six minutes apart.

The man, who has not been named, admits he was "foolish" to enter the club while drunk and with "several" credit cards.

But he claims staff took advantage of his intoxicated state, and has spent the last year battling to get the money back without success.

The man claims the club never gave him a satisfactory explanation for the pattern of spending.

He wrote to Bournemouth council, which is reviewing the club's sexual entertainment licence followed alleged breaches. In the letter he states: "I fully acknowledge that I was foolish to enter the club drunk and in possession of several credit cards.

"But I have been in similar situations before and never experienced anything remotely approaching this or involving such a life-changing sum of money.

"Someone being foolish does not excuse in any way the actions of the club and its employees and the way they grossly exploited a person in a vulnerable position."

The Spearmint Rhino in Bournemouth is alleged to have breached its strict licence conditions - including the customary strip club 'no touching' policy.

It is understood the man previously made a complaint to Bournemouth council's trading standards department and no action was taken.

According to its website, the Spearmint Rhino chain is "the world leader in premier entertainment".

It states: "Each location offers guests select and personalised experiences with the very best in local food and drink choices, unmatched entertainment, live shows and special events; including adult film star performances."

Despite the man's experience, other clients seem more impressed, with the club attracting high ratings on one review site.

One man gave it five stars, stating: "Weekends are busy but the music is great!

"And not forgetting the skills the girls have on that pole, they do tricks that make your jaw hit the ground.

"I would thoroughly recommend it.

"It's a good night out you'll be sorely disappointed if you miss it".

A spokesperson for Spearmint Rhino later said: "The matter is now being raised as an objection to the renewal of the SEV licence which has already been renewed once since that date.

"The allegation is denied and it is not intended to engage in a trial through the media. Spearmint Rhino investigate any complaints made and work with the authorities and banks in all enquiries they carry out.

"The authorities and the bank found such an allegation was not made out.

"If this is the same incident, and Spearmint Rhino are not aware of any similar incident then this was dealt with around a year ago."

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