Alcoholic drowns in gay sauna’s jacuzzi

The Bronx sauna on Saville Street East.
The Bronx sauna on Saville Street East.
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AN out-of-work joiner died after drowning in a jacuzzi at a gay sauna in Sheffield, an inquest heard.

Alan Lander, aged 59, of Fircroft Road, Shiregreen, was found unconscious face down in the water by the manager of the Bronx sauna, on Savile Street East, Attercliffe.

Sheffield Coroner’s Court heard Alan, who had a history of alcoholism, was more than three times the drink-drive limit at the time of his death and had health problems which could have left him at risk of a fatal heart attack.

The inquest heard Alan began drinking heavily after being made redundant five years ago and visited the sauna twice in the days before his death on August 30 last year.

Simon Facer, the Bronx’s manager, said Alan looked unsteady on his feet when he arrived alone at 4.45pm.

“I just put that down to him being old, we’ve got quite a few customers who are that age,” he said.

Simon told the inquest he went to put chemicals in the jacuzzi around 35 minutes later, and found Alan sitting in the water “looking fine”.

But Simon said he returned after 25 minutes to find him face down, “floating on the surface of the water”.

“I saw something in the water and realised what it was, and screamed for my boss to come through,” he said.

Simon - who was first aid trained - jumped into the jacuzzi to pull Alan out and attempted to resuscitate him before paramedics arrived.

Alan was rushed to the Northern General Hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 6.45pm.

Anthony Cherry, Alan’s former partner, said he returned to Fircroft Road at 9pm and was “very surprised” to find the house empty.

“I didn’t think he was physically up to going out,” he added.

Anthony said they had lived together for 25 years but that the last three to four years were “very complicated”.

“We lived as though we were not a partnership, though I was still feeding him, keeping him, paying his bills and his debts,” he said.

Anthony said Alan had no relatives, and that he was his next of kin. He added that he often worked away in order to escape his partner’s drinking.

“It was very difficult to keep the house and to have a normal home life,” he said. “He spent most of his time laid on his bed with a glass of alcohol by the side of him. His only exercise was going across the road to buy more alcohol.”

Anthony said Alan was hospitalised three times in 2009 through drink-related incidents and started drinking more after receiving his annual lump sum pension three months before his death.

Pathologist Dr Julian Burton, who conducted a post-mortem examination, said Alan suffered from an inflamed gall bladder, cirrhosis of the liver and heart disease.

Dr Burton said these factors would have “predisposed him to a sudden, fatal cardiac arrythmia”, and decided “on the balance of probabilities” Alan died from drowning.

Assistant deputy coroner David Urpeth recorded a verdict of accidental death and said: “This is another tragic case of a person’s significant deterioration due to the abuse of alcohol.

“Such alcohol abuse not only takes a terrible toll on the individual concerned, but also those close to them.”

Mr Urpeth told Anthony he had done his “very best” for Alan.