When a dad checked into a Travelodge with his teenage daughter, he found himself being round up by a group of police officers. Dad had no idea that the staff at the hotel had called the police on him because they suspected he was a pedophile.
While they were just trying to do what they thought was right, instead of asking 46-year-old widower Craig Darwell why he was with 13-year-old Millie, they assumed the worst and got the police involved – wasting everyone’s time in the process.
And Travelodge completely ruined Darwell’s treat to his 13-year-old daughter – he was treating her to a special trip to Thorpe Park, a popular English theme park…
Before getting into the park, the father and daughter team checked into the hotel location which is close to the theme park in Chertsey, Surrey, which is about 25-miles outside of London.
After Craig went to go park his car, a manager confronted Craig. He demanded that the single father proves that Millie was his daughter and not a victim he was about to assault.
“I couldn’t believe it. Millie and I have stayed in lots of places over the years and this has never happened to me before,” the surprised father said. “We checked in and then I had to move my car. When I got back to reception, the guy started asking me to prove I was her dad. He said it was company policy and I had to go onto Facebook to show messages I’ve sent to her.
“It was bizarre and really offensive. Then he told me that he’d already called the police so I had to wait for them to arrive. Luckily it took them about two seconds to realize he had got the wrong end of the stick, but it ruined the weekend for me.”
Nine years ago, Craig’s wife Sarah died from leukemia when Millie was just four. Now he treats his daughter as well as he can in memory of his beloved wife.
Meanwhile. Travelodge defended their actions claiming they were trying to protect the child. Although they got this one wrong, they don’t want to deter their staff from confronting people who seem suspicious because some young people are very vulnerable.
A spokesperson apologized for this mistake and said they were going to conduct an investigation:
“Police were called by a member of staff at the Travelodge in Chertsey on Thursday, March 30, just after 8 p.m. following a concern for safety. Officers attended and made no arrests, no further inquiries will take place. Hotels, taxi companies and other licensed premises have recently been equipped with the right knowledge to identify children who could be at risk of exploitation under Operation Makesafe.”
This is not the first time fathers of girls have been accused wrongfully of pedophilia. Last month, one father came forward saying that police have been accusing him of being a pedophile for years – all because a typo had accidentally sent the police to his address.
44-year-old Nigel Lang was home with his partner and their 2-year-old son. Suddenly, the police stormed inside his property in July 2011. He was arrested without questioning suspicion of possessing lewd images of children. This mistake lead to “the most horrendous and horrific time of my life,” the honest father said.
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