British playwright, 26, was beaten with a metal pole when she refused to cough up more money for her Croatia hostel leaving her with stitches and a fractured hand

A student playwright was beaten with a metal bar after refusing demands to pay more money for her holiday hostel.

Laura Denmar, 26, was injured when she was brutally attacked as her boyfriend was pinned to a wall.

She needed emergency hospital treatment and cut short her trip to the fashionable Croatian resort of Split.

Last night Miss Denmar said she feared other young British travellers could fall foul of shady accommodation operators.

‘We are doing okay now that we are back in the UK, but it was a really terrifying ordeal,’ she said.

‘It was clear that the entire operation was not legal in the first place and the attack was definitely premeditated.

‘We are lucky to be out of there and want to warn others before they book accommodation online.’

The aspiring playwright, who is studying at London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, travelled to Croatia last month.

She and her boyfriend Jeremy Lafond, 39, booked a £60-a-night hostel through a major website because of peak season hotel prices.

But when they arrived in the city’s picturesque Old Town, which lies on the Dalmatian coast, they were immediately sent away to a grimy suburb.

‘We were told that we had to pick up the keys from a different hostel, and then make our way to the apartment,’ she said.

‘When we arrived we realised that it was not legitimate at all – there were 30 beds and only one bathroom and no one there running anything.

‘We had nowhere else to stay and we had already paid so we decided to make do.

‘On the last day, a cleaner came in early and told us that we needed to leave right away or pay more money.


‘I told her that was unreasonable and refused to hand over any money and so she told us she would call the police if we did not leave.

‘I knew what they were doing was illegal so I told her to go on and call the police. Instead she called a man who we think was the owner.

‘We decided to get out of there as soon as possible, but she locked the doors so we could not leave until the man arrived.

‘When he did, he slammed Jeremy into a wall with another guy and the woman started beating me with a metal pole. It was awful.’

Miss Denmar, from Cambridge, suffered a nasty gash to her head, which required stitches, a fractured hand and bruising to her arms and body.

She made a statement to Croatian police, has been in regular contact with the British Embassy and complained to the website which brokered the hostel.

But she fears others could fall foul of similar operations as shady businesses take advantage of the city’s popularity with British tourists.

Croatia was the backdrop of hit film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and the Beckhams enjoyed a luxury holiday there last month.

Miss Denmar said: ‘What happened to us was awful and I would hate for it to happen to anyone else. I just want people to know what happened to me so it never happens again.’

No one from the Dublin-based hostel website was available to comment.

Police in Split said they were investigating an assault.

Source: dailymail

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