Woman arrested and bailed in Hartlepool holidays fraud probe

Jordan Wilkinson, back, Charlotte Wilkinson and Cameron Wilkinson have been left 'very upset' after their holiday fell through, says mum Wendy Brown.
Jordan Wilkinson, back, Charlotte Wilkinson and Cameron Wilkinson have been left 'very upset' after their holiday fell through, says mum Wendy Brown.

A woman has been arrested and bailed after a number of Hartlepool people claimed they were left out of pocket when buying holiday breaks and catering services online.

The 39-year-old was arrested on suspicion of a number of counts of fraud, say police.

My children are all very upset, because they were really looking forward to going to Flamingo Land

Wendy Brown

The Mail revealed yesterday that police were investigating allegations made by those who claimed they had lost money.

A number of people said they could no longer make contact with a Facebook-based company after paying hundreds of pounds in cash.

A company advertised on the social networking site as June Crimdon Dene and Flamingo Land Caravans had offered cheap breaks, while a similar page called June’s Catering Services was also set up.

On Monday night, some of those said to be affected came together at Hartlepool Police Station to inform officers, as reported by the Mail.

Others, meanwhile, had already made reports to Cleveland Police.

The arrest comes as people are still coming forward over the claims.

Wendy Brown, 35, of Peterlee, says she has been left £100 out of pocket after booking a break in Flamingo Land in July with husband David, 50, and children Jordan, 17, Charlotte, 12, and Cameron, 11.

Mrs Brown claims that after she called Flamingo Land, they were unable to find any record of the caravan concerned being booked.

She said: “I didn’t know anything was wrong until I saw it all popping up on Facebook.

“My children are all very upset, because they were really looking forward to going to Flamingo Land.

“I haven’t been away on holiday with them for eight years now, so it was going to be a great break for us.

“I can’t book up with Flamingo Land themselves now because that’s too expensive for us, so if we are to go away, we’re going to have to look for something a bit cheaper.”

Lisa Watson, meanwhile, had booked a week-long stay in a caravan at Flamingo Land for £450 with partner Andy Case and their twins Shane and Warren, aged 15 months.

She said: “We saved up for a few months for this holiday, and it is a lot of money.

“It’s upsetting for the kids more than anything else. It was all for them. We thought it would be nice for the four of us to go away together as a family.”

Gav Davies and Joanne Gillham, who is originally from Hartlepool, say they have lost £210 after paying for catering for their wedding, which will take place in April.

Mr Davies said: “We’ve been together for 15 years, and we obviously want the big day to be perfect. Now we have to find other catering at short notice.

“When she found out, Joanne was in tears. It’s just a big blow. £210 might not be a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but it’s the principle.”

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: “A 39-year-old Hartlepool woman was arrested on Monday afternoon on suspicion of a number of counts of fraud.

“She has been bailed pending further inquiries.”