A man was horrified when he discovered that staff at a Travelodge he was staying in had phoned the police believing he was a paedophile. Karl Pollard was travelling to Cheshire with his 14-year-old daughter Stephanie so that she could visit her grandmother who was being treated for cancer and multiple sclerosis. The pair had the four hour long drive from South Wales so that Stephanie could see Karl’s mother before the treatment began, but were shocked when police knocked on their door and told them that they had been told that Karl was a potential child groomer.
Dad accused of being a paedophile after checking into a Travelodge his daughter https://t.co/WF1J7bsCUB— The Sun (@TheSun) 18 February 2018
“I couldn't believe it,” Karl said when speaking to reporters. “It was an emotional trip already, but it was made so much worse.
“One minute I was brushing my teeth, the next I was being told I was a paedophile.”
“We've had a call from Travelodge,” the police told him. “They believe you are a paedophile grooming underage girls.”
“I explained to her that I was Stephanie's dad. The officer had to ask her loads of questions to prove it.” Karl said, adding that the police dropped the issue almost “immediately” but that his daughter was still deeply upset by the experience.
“My daughter was in tears. She was so scared, and thought I was going to get taken away.”
When contacted by The Sun Travelodge responded, saying,
“We are sorry for any distress caused to Mr Pollard. We take our responsibilities towards protecting children and vulnerable young people extremely seriously.
“All our hotel teams are trained according to national guidelines supported by the NSPCC, which have also been approved by the National Working Group on child sexual exploitation, South Yorkshire Police and the MET Police.
“In the past, proactive action by our hotel teams has helped to safeguard young people at risk. In this instance we got it wrong and we have apologised to Mr Pollard, as well as refunded his stay.”
The internet, however, has rallied around in support of Karl. One user wrote,
“Travelodge takes it upon themselves to decide man 'is' a 'paedophile' for making mistake of staying in one of their shitholes with his daughter.” While another added,
“Would a woman & teenage boy be treated this way? #travelodge Dad accused of being a paedophile after checking into Travelodge with his teenage daughter.”