Police, Fire and Health officials moved in to raid a swingers club complete with a dungeon and torture chamber. The Sadomasochists club was raided after word of unsanitary conditions reached local authorities and officials say that as a result of their findings, The torture Chamber and adjoining areas have been shutdown over health and safety concerns. The Vivente Private Members Club, located in Sunderland, has been closed down for not complying with fire regulations according to inspectors.
In court testimony, the local Magistrates’ Court heard how as many as 60 members could be crammed into the club, which described itself as having a “whole new modern approach to the swinging lifestyle”. The clubs website boasted that it was a complete facility and boasted of having a Dungeon located in the basement, “complete with St Georges Cross, stocks, sex-swing and plenty of implements to inflict pain”. But the visiting fire inspectors were not impressed, saying that “fire risks were aggravated by the presence of equipment” which would make it tricky for people to escape in the event of a fire.
Jim Wotherspoon, prosecuting on behalf of Sunderland City Council and Tyne and Wear Fire Service, told the court that authorities were informed of the clubs problems on April 21, 2015 and that a subsequent investigation showed the property did not meet health and safety standards. He said: “The rear entrance was hidden but when you went to it, it was locked from the outside with roller shutter coming down and there was no way it could be used in the event of a fire.”
A fire officials inspected the following evening and testified that, “They went in through a locked door which was locked behind them so you could not get out without someone opening it for you.” Other testimony told how the four stories building including the basement, was littered with “various items for use by members of the club”.
Additional testimony described the clubs interior, saying it also contained “pool tables, bars and comfortable chairs”. The court heard how the walls were left unfinished and exposed wiring was visible as the place was still not renovated or fully decorated. In addition, the non-functioning fire alarm, flammable plastic coverings on walls, which had been installed to create “ambiance”, and candles meant that fire inspectors were forced to close the business immediately.
Since that time, the club has not reopened. Mr Wotherspoon said that Ms. High could easily have been charged with further offenses and stressed that a fire in the club could have led to a “substantial loss of life”. After the inspection, Ms. High said that fire regulations “were just something I did not think about”. Ms. High pleaded guilty to all charges but explained that the place was in a bad state because it was undergoing a refurbishment mandated by a council inspection.
Her attorney explained that Ms. High did not own the building and, while she ran the club and accepts responsibility, “there were others involved”.
He said his client’s lapses on regulations were more to do with “naivety” than “cutting corners to put lives at risk”. High will be sentenced next month.