Out-of-pocket mum calls for law change

AN IPSWICH mum today called for a change in the law after she forked out £200 for a dream break her family never had.She was one of dozens of people who paid for a holiday with Golden Sands Holidays Limited based in Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, only to lose out when the company folded.

AN IPSWICH mum today called for a change in the law after she forked out £200 for a dream break her family never had.

She was one of dozens of people who paid for a holiday with Golden Sands Holidays Limited based in Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, only to lose out when the company folded.

The company's director, Michael Fisher, 35, of Lakeside Road, Ipswich, appeared before magistrates in Witham yesterday where he ordered to pay a total of more than £800 compensation to four people who forked out for package deals.

But Mandy Carter of Felix Road, Ipswich, was not one of them and argues although the regulations cover packages which included accommodation and travel, it did not cover people who paid for caravan holidays.


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The mother of three, who paid for a break in Yarmouth, said: "At the end of the day we still lost out. The regulations cover only package holidays, but does not include the rest of us who paid for caravan holidays.

"When we lost the money it felt terrible and put us through a whole lot of stress.

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"When I sat the children down that night and told then I did not think they were going on holiday, they flipped. They cried and so did I. There should be a change in the law."

Her luck took a turn for the better after a Good Samaritan who read about her plight in The Evening Star stepped in and gave her £200. But she ended up having to fork out three times as much on a new holiday as Golden Sands had offered a cheap deal.

As reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, Fisher, 35, admitted four charges in court of having insufficient evidence of security due to his neglect while acting as director of Golden Sands Holidays Limited.

Peter Gaywood, prosecuting on behalf of trading standards, said the company mainly dealt with caravan holidays but expanded to include short breaks.

He told magistrates after the company ceased trading in March 2003, 70 – 80 consumers in the Essex area were left out of pocket. One of those was a woman who was looking to go on a trip to Euro Disney.

Fisher had been expected to turn up to court for a date early next year but instead appeared before magistrates yesterday where he admitted four charges which come under regulation 16 (3) and 25 (2) under the Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours regulations 1992.

Representing himself in court father of three Fisher, said 50 – 70 people paid for successful caravan holidays with him and he said: "I did make every effort to honour the holidays." He described the laws as "complex."

Bench chairman Lloyd Chapman ordered him to pay £832 compensation and £250 towards prosecution costs.

After the hearing, a spokesman for Essex Trading Standards who brought the case, said he sympathised with Mandy Carter. He said the legislation was specific and advised her to take action through the civil courts.

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