Devon

Devon and Cornwall Police drop ski trips fraud probe

Police have dropped a fraud probe into a Devon ski firm boss after hundreds of children's trips were cancelled.

Officers said there was insufficient evidence of crime for action against Chris Reynard, who was arrested.

Schools in Devon, Dorset, London, Berkshire, Kent, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire cancelled trips in 2011, saying accommodation had been changed and transport was unavailable.

Mr Reynard said police had not found "one shred of evidence against me".

Devon and Cornwall Police said in a letter to the schools who had booked trips: "There is much evidence to undermine any attempt to prosecute Mr Reynard as a criminal."

John Weeds, principal of Reading School in Berkshire, who had to disappoint 100 of his pupils the night before they were due to start the skiing holiday, said the school would pursue a civil case against Mr Reynard and his firm, Skiing Europe.

Families reimbursed

He said: "We have set aside a small fighting fund to continue to pursue Chris Reynard which we believe has some chance of success."

Devon County Council handed out about nearly £90,000 to reimburse families left out of pocket when the Tavistock College ski trip was cancelled.

Mr Reynard said he had been the victim of "commercial sabotage".

He said: "With the greatest respect to the police they have absolutely no authority, or competence or qualifications to be able to comment on the running of a business."

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