A HOLYWELL woman who developed a phobia of overseas holidays after becoming violently ill at a 5-star Turkish resort has been awarded £5,400 in compensation.

A judge at Prestatyn County Court awarded the sum to Lyndsey Woolley after describing the attitude of the assistant general manager of the resort towards food hygiene as “blasé” even though inspectors had highlighted serious failings in the food was stored.

Miss Woolley, her then partner Ian, and her daughter Sarah, visited the Palm Wings Resort in Altinkum, Turkey, in May, 2015, to celebrate his 50th birthday, but within three days she began vomiting and had diarrhea.

She told the court that as it was an all-inclusive holiday, booked through TUI UK Ltd, she had not eaten anywhere else expect the hotel and always drank bottled water.

First impressions of the 360-room hotel were good, she said, but in the dining-room tables were left uncleared, food was not covered and there were a lot of flies about.

“I was a little nervous about what I saw there,” she said.

After becoming ill she stayed in her room for two days and her partner bought her some medication at a local pharmacy, but she didn’t report the matter to the hotel management or to TUI on their return. A few days later both her partner and daughter also became ill, though not as severely.

Ismail Okhan, assistant general manager of the hotel, gave evidence at the hearing via video link from Turkey, and told Mr Chris Pask, Miss Woolley’s barrister, that he did not know of any other cases of food poisoning at that time, which was surprising as there were 800 guests and about 3,000 meals a day were served.

But Mr Pask pointed out that TUI representatives had been made aware of four other cases at that same time.

The barrister read extracts from an independent hygiene audit carried out just two weeks before Miss Woolley’s visit which found that cooked and uncooked meats were stored together, there were out-of-date chilled foods, refrigerators were not at a low enough temperature and there was a risk of contamination.

Asked if he accepted there was a serious risk of contamination, Mr Okhan replied: “I accept”.

But he claimed that all the issues had been addressed by the time Miss Woolley arrived, though another audit carried out in October, 2015, found they still existed.

Tim Edge, representing TUI, said it could not be certain that Miss Woolley’s illness was caused by the hotel food but District Judge Wendy Owen said there was enough clear evidence of a link.

She said Mr Okhan appeared to be “rather laidback” in his attitude towards food handling and his explanation that the person responsible for hygiene matters had been off work at the time was of concern in such a large hotel.

“I accept it is a large hotel serving many meals every day but there were serious shortcomings in the way food was stored and handled,” she said.

She awarded Miss Woolley £5,400 in compensation, including the cost of counseling which she needed after returning home, and also awarded her costs of £16,000.

After the hearing Miss Woolley commented: “It’ll be a long time before I go abroad again.”