British couple are ‘held hostage’ in Italy and forced to take out £4k

British couple are ‘held hostage’ in Italy and forced to take out £4,000 by ‘intimidating staff’ after sparklers burnt through their friend’s wedding marquee

  • Rosie and Jack Deverson from Folkestone were ‘held hostage’ near Sorrento,
  • Jack, 24, had thrown a sparkler over a hotel balcony to avoid being burned 
  • Hotel staff forced the couple to take out a €4,000 loan for the ‘minimal damage’

A couple who flew to Italy for a family wedding were ‘held hostage’ and forced to take out a €4,000 (£3528) loan when they accidentally damaged a marquee.

Rosie and Jack Deverson have described the ‘terrifying interrogation’ they endured at Villa Silvana near Sorrento, in which they were locked behind iron gates for four hours.

Their ordeal started when Jack, 24, threw sparklers over a balcony which had not completely gone out, to avoid being burned by them, at the August wedding.

But the hot rods landed on the wedding marquee, erected for Rosie’s cousin’s big day.

Rosie and Jack Deverson in Italy in August. The holiday turned into a nightmare when the pair were ‘held’ for four hours and forced to take out a loan

The damage was caused when Jack, 24, accidentally burnt the venue’s marquee with sparklers during the cake cutting at Rosie’s cousin’s wedding reception. Pictured: Rosie and Jack in Italy

Sparklers were given to the guests to enjoy at the Villa Silvana but worried about being burned Jack dropped his over the balcony

The hot sparkler caused damage to the marquee when it landed on the plastic 

The couple from Folkestone, Kent, immediately ran down and confessed to the ‘minimal damage’.

The following day, determined to ensure her cousin’s deposit would not be lost, Rosie returned to the venue with her husband.


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However, what happened next shocked both of them. 

Office manager Rosie said she was forced to take out a loan via her phone and would not have been allowed to leave otherwise.

She told the Daily Star Sunday: ‘I had to show my face, it was the decent thing to do to make sure my cousin didn’t lose her deposit.

The damage caused consisted of three larger burns and some small holes in the marquee 

It was not clear to the guests where they should dispose of the sparklers at the wedding 

 Rosie Deverson with sister Elle Fitzpatrick (L) and her brothers James and Rory Fitzpatrick

Jack and Rosie were subjected to a frightening ordeal and told they will be billed £8000 

Office manager Rosie Deverson took out a loan which will take two years to pay off

‘But as soon as we got there the gates were locked behind us. It was a horrible situation and we were told the damage would cost €8,000 (£7056) to fix.

‘They made us sign documents which said we were solely responsible for the damage.

‘We were completely intimidated and we would not have been able to leave without paying €4,000 there and then.’

The damage was small burn marks, according to the couple who had used the sparklers provided for guests while the cake was being cut.

Rosie said: ‘I made the payment on their card machine. I felt terrified. I’ve now got a loan that will take me two years to pay off.’

However, the villa staff said they planned to bill them soon for the other half.

The Deversons contacted the police in the UK and in Italy and have consulted a lawyer.  

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