Friday 19 January 2018

Dream holiday ended in jail nightmare for family

Andriy Grygorenko and wife Nataliya at court.
Andriy Grygorenko and wife Nataliya at court.
The Turtle Beach Club in Barbados.

Ray Managh and Saurya Cherfi

A HOLIDAY of a lifetime in Barbados ended in a jail nightmare for a family allegedly left "high and dry" by a travel agent, a court has been told.

Andriy Grygorenko told the Circuit Civil Court yesterday that when he booked a junior suite at the Turtle Beach Club, he did not expect his then 19-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter would have to sleep together. He said he booked on the phone with Club Travel Ltd a two-week holiday package to start in January 2012.

It cost €7,684, including €2,700 for the accommodation, for himself, his wife Nataliya, and their two children.

He told his barrister Paul McKeon the room had a double bed and a small, foldable sofa, and was unsuitable for three adults and a child.

Mr Grygorenko, of Clane Road, Celbridge, Co Kildare, told the court he raised the issue with the receptionist and the travel agent's local representative. He was told it would be dealt with during the day.

Judge Alan Mahon heard that as nobody approached Mr Grygorenko, he talked to the duty manager and refused his offer of a "slightly bigger room" with the same sleeping arrangement for an extra $75 (€58) per night.

Mr Grygorenko said the situation "deteriorated" and he (Grygorenko) called the police.

He had been beaten by the police, arrested and spent a night in jail. His wife was later arrested. He said he and his wife were advised to plead guilty to assault charges as they could be held for up to a year.

They were convicted, fined $1,000 and released the day after. Mr Grygorenko said he was barred from the hotel and had to move his family to a self-catering apartment at a cost of $1,200. He sued Club Travel Ltd, which trades as The Caribbean Collection, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin, for negligence and breach of contract.

The travel agent denied liability and said correct details about the family were given to the hotel. It said it was informed only after Mr Grygorenko was convicted that there had been a problem with the room.

Judge Mahon, awarding him €16,000 damages, said Club Travel Ltd could not be held responsible for Mr Grygorenko's alleged misadventure with the police, but could have done a lot more to ensure the room was adequate.

Irish Independent

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