Holidaymakers left in the lurch
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
• An unscrupulous coach operator left a party of holidaymakers standing at the roadside in the middle of the night when he did a moonlight flit with their cash, the Inner London Crown Court was told last week.
Managing director Roy Seaton of R & D Landliner, based in Duhvich, south London, was supposed to have been taking the group on a coach tour of Spain when he disappeared with the cash.
Seaton initially denied four counts of obtaining money by deception and four counts of theft, but during the course of the trial he changed his mind, admitting the four counts of deception. The theft charges were ordered to be left on fde.
Peter Telstar, prosecuting, said the party of pensioners, hard-up families and children, had handed over almost £4,500 but were left waiting in the dark with their suitcases.
Meanwhile Seaton had moved house in the middle of the night and disappeared with their money. He had lost his PSV operator's licence four months earlier and did not even have a coach. One of his two coaches had been written off in an accident and the other had been repossessed.
Albert Constable, 74, chairman of the New Cross Social Club, said Seaton had taken members of the club on a number of successful seaside trips. He had said that he could also organise foreign trips. Members had saved for months to pay 298 for a week in Uoret De Mar and had handed over the money in four instalments. The 17 children in the party had been in tears when the coach did not turn up and he had had the heart-breaking job of explaining that something had gone wrong. Most of the party had waited until well past midnight.
Telstar said that after the holidaymakers' plight had been reported in the newspapers Seaton went to the police, claiming that he had realised three days beforehand that he could not do the trip and that he had arranged for another operator to take it over. He had also claimed that he had written two letters to Constable, explaining that the trip had been cancelled and offering to organise another one later on. Sentence was adjourned until 7 June for reports.