A RETIRED civil servant is facing court after his relationship with swimming pool staff took a nose dive.

Alan Treece, of Carlton Road, Northumberland Heath, has been a regular swimmer in Erith for more than 20 years with his long-time pal Kenny Robinson.

But the pair's refusal to stop diving into the new Erith pool in Avenue Road, despite a ban for health and safety reasons, got them thrown out and their membership cards withdrawn.

Even worse, Mr Treece, 64, was subsequently arrested at his home for abusive and threatening behaviour at the pool and is now going to court to try and clear his name.

Mr Treece admits he and Mr Robinson were aware of the ban, but described it as "ludicrous", saying: "We have always started our swim with a racing dive."

He also admits the pair have been regularly told they cannot dive into the pool, but have continued to do it.

On July 16, when they arrived for their swim, they were warned by an attendant they would be banned if they dived in again but still chose to take the plunge.

Police were called, their cards were taken and they were told they were banned from the centre.

Later the same day, Mr Treece returned to the leisure centre with his wife Rita, 63, to get the name of the attendant, to make a complaint.

But the couple were repeatedly asked to leave and threatened with the police, so they went home.

Two police officers arrived at the house and arrested him.

Mr Treece said: "I spent four hours at the police station including an hour in the cells and had my photograph and DNA taken."

Eventually he was issued with a fixed penalty fine of £80 for abusive and threatening behaviour, which he denies.

He said: "At no time was I ever allowed to give my side of the story. I was just told police had sufficient evidence."

Bexleyheath police say they are entitled to issue a penalty charge notice if they believe an offence has been committed.

They added people do have the option to contest it in court if they do not agree.

A spokesman for Parkwood Leisure, which runs the Erith centre, said there were a number of people, including members of the public, who were unhappy with Mr Treece's behaviour.

He said it was disappointing to have to expel the two men but said diving could be dangerous because of the moveable floor and young people copying the pair if they saw them regularly diving in.