Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 16:43 UK

Couple sue in 'holiday nightmare'

Map of Venezuela

A Dorset couple is taking legal action against a travel firm after suffering a "holiday nightmare" while staying at a South American resort.

Paul Sparrow and Valarie Roberts were struck down with a gastric illness while at the First Choice Costa Caribe resort in Margarita, Venezuela.

They said they were also attacked with a knife and robbed while walking on a beach during their holiday in January.

First Choice said it no longer offers trips to the destination.

Mr Sparrow, 58, of Bridport and Ms Roberts, 45, of Stalbridge, said they fell ill with severe sickness and diarrhoea two days into their holiday at the £2,200 all-inclusive resort.

'Poor standards'

The couple called police and were taken to hospital after the attack.

Mr Sparrow said: "The holiday was a complete nightmare.

"It has left me and my partner feeling anxious to travel again and we feel that First Choice should compensate us for the poor standards of the hotel.

"The hygiene was so poor, particularly in the restaurant."

A spokeswoman for First Choice said that since the incident it had ceased to operate to the destination of Margarita.

She added that it could not comment further because of ongoing legal issues.

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