‘UNHEARD’ victims of sexual assault have slammed spa bosses for allowing a predatory Thames Lido masseur to continue work despite numerous attack claims.

Toshihide Nukui was jailed at Reading Crown Court earlier this month after admitting to sexually assaulting four women at the Lido in King’s Meadow, Reading, between November 2018 and September 2019. 

For 10 months, Nukui was able to abuse his position of power at the Lido before he was subject to a police investigation in October 2019.


The first report of misconduct was made to the Lido when Nukui pressed his erect penis into a customer’s back. However, the masseur later explained this away by saying he had a bottle of massage oil in his trousers, according to prosecutors.

A Thames Lido spokesman said the company ‘acted appropriately as soon as the allegations came to light’. However, Nukui went on to sexually assault three more women after that initial complaint and one more at a private clinic.

A spokesperson for the survivors said victims felt ‘unheard’ and the Lido’s response was ‘disappointing’. Adding, the victims will never again return to a place that should be ‘rest and relaxation.’

Reading Chronicle: Toshihide NukuiToshihide Nukui

The first report

At the sentencing of Toshihide Nukui on Tuesday, July 12, prosecutor Richard Whitcombe read a statement from the first victim in which she called out Thames Lido management. 

She said: “When I was sexually assaulted I was consumed by it for a while. 

“I was especially hurt because I reported it to the Lido management and they believed him [Nukui]. 

“I felt like no one was listening to me and this affected me psychologically because I was not being heard.”

The first victim was sexually assaulted when Nukui pressed his erect penis into her back as she was lying on a treatment table for what should have been a full body massage. 

In a police interview in 2019, he later claimed to Thames Valley Police he had a bottle of massage oil in his trouser pocket. 

Reading Chronicle: Nukui leaving court in MarchNukui leaving court in March

Two reports in one month

Reading Crown Court also heard how the second victim, who was sexually assaulted one month later in December 2018, raised a complaint with Lido management. 

During this encounter, Nukui shifted the towel the lady was wearing so her right buttock was exposed. 

The 49-year-old then ran his fingers up the woman’s thigh a number of times before he touched her genitals. 

Mr Whitcombe said: “She left and when she was spoken to by one of the managers she indicated she was not alright. 

“The manager called her later and she told him what happened to her. 

“As she left the Lido she was upset, walking really fast and crying with rage.”

Nukui was convicted of sexual assault in relation this incident and the first incident.

Despite two reports of sexual assault against Nukui between November and December 2018, the masseur was not dismissed and continued to work at the Lido. 

The Lido said all reports of sexual assault were investigated immediately and the outcome of the investigations did not result in the suspension of Toshihide Nukui.

Reading Chronicle:

Police investigation 10 months on

Nukui’s continued employment at the Lido meant that in July 2019 he sexually assaulted another woman, who told her friend - a Lido employee - about what had happened. 

At the turn of the year, the same friend told the third victim Nukui was under police investigation. 

This only came about, however, because Nukui digitally penetrated a private client at The Therapy Centre on Church Street where he also worked in October 2019. 

After being sexually assaulted, the woman reported Nukui to police, who discovered he had also sexually assaulted another woman in September 2019 in which he touched her genitals six times. 

“The last instance of sexual assault by penetration represents an escalation in what Mr Nukui was doing”, prosecutor Richard Whitcombe said. 

“Throughout the period of time of a year, Mr Nukui was becoming emboldened by the way he was able to touch various clients.”

Nukui admitted five counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to five years in prison at Reading Crown Court earlier this month.

Reading Chronicle:

‘We acted appropriately’

Responding to the Chronicle’s investigation, a Thames Lido spokesperson said: “We are aware of the conviction and sentencing of Mr Nukui. Once again we express our great sympathy for the victims of his crimes.

“We also confirm once again that we acted appropriately as soon as the allegations came to light.  

“The incidents involving Mr Nukui were investigated and acted upon in line with external legal advice.  

“The incidents were independent from each other and were all treated with proper care and attention.   

“We have also co-operated fully with the criminal investigation at every stage.  

“In addition, we have undertaken a full review of our policies and procedures as a result of this case to include the processes with regard to the recruitment of staff and also the vetting of staff before they start work at the Lido.

“The safety and welfare of our guests at Thames Lido remain absolute priorities for us.  

“We also do not wish for the actions of one individual to take away from the reputation, hard work and quality of service of the remainder of the Lido’s employees.”

When pressed on these comments, a Lido spokesperson said they could not disclose the legal advice bosses received. 

Asked what changes have been made to its policies and procedures, the Lido spokesperson said ‘further safeguarding measures’ have been put in place. 

They added: “Please be assured that we are fully committed to taking every appropriate step to ensure that our massage therapists are appropriately trained, supervised and appraised and that they create and maintain a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.”

Reading Chronicle:


Siobhan Crawford, of Bolton Burdon Kemp law firm which represented Nukui’s victims, issued a statement in response to the Lido’s comments. 

She said: “The response from Thames Lido is disappointing. As one of Nukui’s victims said in her victim impact statement – she left the Lido feeling unheard. 

“The fact that an individual reporting sexual assault felt unheard should never happen. 

“My clients can no longer return to the Lido, a place that should be for rest and relaxation, due to Nukui’s actions and the Lido’s subsequent response.”