Stand-off at Fitness Rooms Health Club, Worcester, as man who says he's the owner barricades himself in as bailiffs arrive

Evesham Journal: Bailiffs wait outside Fitness Rooms Health Club in Sherriff Street.Picture by John Anyon. 0814523501 Bailiffs wait outside Fitness Rooms Health Club in Sherriff Street.Picture by John Anyon. 0814523501

A man barricaded himself into a gym and refused to come out after bailiffs arrived to take away gym equipment.

The man parked his car in front of the front door and piled wooden pallets inside the door at the Fitness Rooms Health Club on Sherriff Street at around 7am yesterday.

An onlooker said customers were asked to leave and bailiffs removed one lorryload before the stand-off began.

Police were called after a row erupted.

One of the bailiffs, who would not give a name, said his team had arrived to take away Star Trac equipment they had previously installed on behalf of a finance company.

He said: "Somebody phoned the owner and he turned up screaming and shouting and locked the doors."

The man inside the gym, who said he was the gym's owner but refused to give his name, spoke to the Worcester News through an open window.

He said: "I have no idea why they are taking it.

"They're not bailiffs.

"I have no proof of who they are.

"I have not received anything from them as to what the hell is going on.

"I was asleep this morning and the staff called me about 7am to say stuff was being taken away.

"I have no help from the police.

"I locked the door and I'm waiting to see what happens.

"I'm scared to come out.

"They have no right to do this.

"I haven't missed any payments."

He later left and a sign was put up at the gym which said it was closed until further notice.

The wooden pallets remained in place across the door.

A police spokesman said police were only there to ensure no breach of the peace occurred but the dispute had ended peacefully with no arrests made.

Officers left just before 1pm.

Stephen Hickman, a gym member, witnessed the fracas after visiting nearby Screwfix.

He said: "The owner is refusing to come out.

"Apparently they want to take all the equipment away because they haven't paid the finance on it.

"I joined the gym about eight weeks ago.

"It's not so bad for me but I feel sorry for the young kids who come here and those who are retired if it shuts.

"It must be hard for them."

Liz Draper, another gym member, said she paid £15 a month to use Fitness Rooms.

She said: "I had no idea that anything like this was going to happen.

"It all looked quite normal yesterday."

Comments (10)

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12:15pm Wed 19 Feb 14

mrwrighty says...

The bailiffs should have paperwork to prove why they are there. If they cannot provide that proof then he is within his rights to stop them. They could be a bunch of con-artists out to clear the place, who would know.
The bailiffs should have paperwork to prove why they are there. If they cannot provide that proof then he is within his rights to stop them. They could be a bunch of con-artists out to clear the place, who would know. mrwrighty
  • Score: 21

2:47pm Wed 19 Feb 14

scott.hannaford says...

Or they gave him the paperwork and sent lots of letters and he is pretending he hasn't been given anything. Bailiffs are very well regulated. The police would have checked their licences when they arrived.
Or they gave him the paperwork and sent lots of letters and he is pretending he hasn't been given anything. Bailiffs are very well regulated. The police would have checked their licences when they arrived. scott.hannaford
  • Score: 28

4:41pm Wed 19 Feb 14

New Kid on the Block says...

Bailiffs need a court warrant to force entry, but if they gain peaceful entry they cannot be forced to leave.
Were these people Bailiffs or were they from the Firm who supplied the equipment and claim not to have been paid?
Bailiffs need a court warrant to force entry, but if they gain peaceful entry they cannot be forced to leave. Were these people Bailiffs or were they from the Firm who supplied the equipment and claim not to have been paid? New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 5

4:52pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Dagnasty says...

I've watched 'Sherriffs are coming' on the BBC. I'm an expert on bailiffs me.
I've watched 'Sherriffs are coming' on the BBC. I'm an expert on bailiffs me. Dagnasty
  • Score: 15

10:09pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Gillian1961 says...

I would of just thrown my weights around
I would of just thrown my weights around Gillian1961
  • Score: 7

7:51am Thu 20 Feb 14

PaulEthanFrench says...

Not unexpected but a great shame. This was a great little gym with a fantastic atmosphere and friendly helpful staff. I feel sorry for them as they were the ones that made the place what it was. I wish them all luck
Not unexpected but a great shame. This was a great little gym with a fantastic atmosphere and friendly helpful staff. I feel sorry for them as they were the ones that made the place what it was. I wish them all luck PaulEthanFrench
  • Score: 12

2:38pm Fri 21 Feb 14

The Curious Kumquat says...

Just hope that no one has paid up front for a 12 month contract there recently.
Just hope that no one has paid up front for a 12 month contract there recently. The Curious Kumquat
  • Score: 7

8:20pm Fri 21 Feb 14

DarrenM says...

Also why does the police officer in the photo appear to have no identification number or name displayed on her epaulettes?
Also why does the police officer in the photo appear to have no identification number or name displayed on her epaulettes? DarrenM
  • Score: 1

11:22pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Small Town says...

DarrenM wrote:
Also why does the police officer in the photo appear to have no identification number or name displayed on her epaulettes?
Perhaps to stop busybodies and stalkers from knowing who she is. I don't have my name/ID tattooed on my forehead, why should she?!
[quote][p][bold]DarrenM[/bold] wrote: Also why does the police officer in the photo appear to have no identification number or name displayed on her epaulettes?[/p][/quote]Perhaps to stop busybodies and stalkers from knowing who she is. I don't have my name/ID tattooed on my forehead, why should she?! Small Town
  • Score: -4

8:32am Sat 22 Feb 14

DarrenM says...

what a idiotic reply! - perhaps because its a requirement if you are a police officer, so that you can be identified by the public.
what a idiotic reply! - perhaps because its a requirement if you are a police officer, so that you can be identified by the public. DarrenM
  • Score: 13

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