Ghost hunters trespassing at Colchester’s old Severalls Hospital site warned they face prosecution

Disused frontage at Severalls Hospital.

Disused frontage at Severalls Hospital. - Credit: Archant

Trespassers on a derelict hospital site have been warned they will be prosecuted.

Severalls Hospital in Boxted Road, Colchester, closed in 1997 and negotiations by owners the North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEP) are ongoing in a bid to sell it to developers.

However the site has attracted a number of unwanted visitors wanting to photograph the buildings, picnic on the grounds and even from ghost hunters.

A 20-year-old man was given 40 hours of unpaid work, fined almost £200 and given a one year probation order at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on February 23 after being prosecuted for trespassing on the site on February 7.

Dominic Bradshaw, security management specialist at NEP, said: “It is incomprehensible when we caught a mother who was eight months pregnant or parents with five-year-old children on the site which has occurred in recent months.

“Supported by the police, we will prosecute anyone found on site or identified via CCTV.

“The risks individuals are willing to take to access such a dilapidated and unsafe environment are not proportionate to the photographs and historical value they could possibly gain.

Most Read

“Those who consider it a playground need to be aware of the risks of exposing themselves to asbestos or serious falls as parts of the buildings are unstable.

“Monies that should go to mental health services are getting diverted to repair broken fence lines and fund security guards due to a small number of people breaking the law.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter