A single father on a short break with his teenage daughter says he was shocked when hotel employees called police over fears he was a paedophile.

Craig Darwell, took his 13-year-old daughter, Millie, on a short holiday, as reported by the MIRROR.

The pair checked into a Travelodge before Craig, 46, went back outside to move his car.

He then returned to the hotel’s reception, but was allegedly asked by a manager for proof that he was Millie’s dad.

“He said it was company policy and I had to go onto Facebook to show messages I’ve sent to her,” Craig told The Sun .

The dad, whose wife, Sarah, died of leukaemia a decade ago, said he found the employee’s request “really offensive”.

And he was even more stunned when the manager allegedly told him he’d “already called the police” over fears for Millie’s safety.

Going Overboard?

“I couldn’t believe it. Millie and I have stayed in lots of places over the years and this has never happened to me before,” he said.

After officers arrived at the hotel, Craig said they quickly realised that the employee was mistaken and he was, indeed, Millie’s dad.

However, he said his and Millie’s short break had been “ruined” by the incident.

A Travelodge spokesperson said the firm takes its “responsibilities towards protecting children and vulnerable young people extremely seriously”.

They added: “Our colleagues are trained based on current national guidelines from the NSPCC, the police and other agencies and in the past, hotel team actions have led to successful intervention to protect young people.

“Clearly fine judgements have to be made and we deeply regret any distress or inconvenience caused to Mr.Darwell on this occasion.

“We are undertaking a full investigation into the circumstances and will take careful note of any lessons learned in due course, including additional training where appropriate.

“In the meantime, we would like to apologise to Mr. Darwell for the situation he encountered and we will be making further contact with him as our investigation continues.”

Surrey Police confirmed officers had been called to the Travelodge on Guildford Street after a “concern for safety”.

“Officers attended and made no arrests, no further enquiries will take place.”

A little while ago, we shared the story of a new dad left horrified after he was told he was a ‘dirty old man’ for taking his seven-week-old baby into the parents’ room. Read more about that HERE.

Is this really what it has come down to for dads? They don’t deserve to always feel like someone is watching over their shoulder when out in public in fear of being a pedophile.

Share your comments below.

Read more – Not all child sex offenders are men


This story and image originally appeared on The Mirror

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  • It’s a bit sad isn’t it, we want dad’s to be more involved with their kids, and then this happens. Sadly just a sign of the world we now live in, trust no one


  • i’m glad that they had the guts to act but it was luckily a false alarm. they shouldn’t be put off to intervene because maybe one day they might be right


  • I commend their policy of making sure children are okay but am wondering if they would do the same thing if the case was a Mother taking her young son on a short break. I would like to offer my apologise to this Father and his daughter and hope they continue to take holidays together.


  • How horrible for a father who has lost his wife – very traumatic. It is also bad for a dad to have explain why he is with his son/daughter and his wife isn’t there. Does anyone ask a woman on her own with a child where is her husband? What will happen in future with two men and a daughter?
    Lots of problems coming up, methinks.


  • My husband would be offended too. Why would they call the police before questioning him, themselves. As simple as is this a father and daughter getaway? And wouldn’t his daughter have the same last name? Would they do the same for a mother and son? I understand the world can be a bad place, However I don’t think this was very fair on this father.


  • This is fantastic im so happy they did that. I can’t see why the dad is so upset, my husband said he would happily be questioned when ever he is out with the kids alone if it could save a child from pedophiles and being used as sex slaves. Imagine if your child was missing and was found because a hotel staff called the police. You would be over the moon, as this father would be if it was his kid. Sometime for the safety of our children we have to be inconvenienced. I hope they continue these practices and do it in every hotel world wide.


  • This is horrible for the father, but indicative of the world we live in today. Hopefully this will lead to better training for staff and their personal skills but good on the hotel for being on watch.


  • Very sad for them however its because of the baddies of the world, it is disappointing it has come to this.


  • I can imagine to be confronted with this is most disturbing and destroys the ability to enjoy this short holiday break !!
    The fact the hotel employees are signaling and alarming in the case of suspicious incidents is on it self good, but in the case of falsely accusations it’s very damaging. It would be good if the hotel could make a gesture (like free future accommodation in one of their locations) to make things right.


  • My friend got approached by the police because some anonymous woman thought he looked “creepy”. He is a very nice and sensitive guy and to be accused of this is shameful.

    Hypervigilance can also cause situations like this to occur.


    Also, I would not be surprised that false accusations lead to depression and even sucide. I think the rule should be made that if a false accusation of this sort is made against another, the other should atake least get a fine or short jail sentence.


  • I can understand Craig being being distressed and offended.
    At the same time I understand the hotel being worried about the welfare and wellbieng of Millie. She is about the age that some undesirables start grooming young girls…and boys. A friend of mine knows a girl who was brutally murdered at this girl’s age. Maybe Craig should carry his and Millie’s birth certificates and perhaps other legal documents(his wife’s death certificate) so he can’t be accused of abducting her either.


  • Ooh, what a sad world we live in when we consider a single Dad suspicious? It’s really sad but indicative of the crazy world that exists. Such a sad state of affairs.


  • Very sad they had to go through this after losing their mother/wife all those years ago.


  • Ok if they suspect him of it then call the police but you do not warn someone that you have called them, chances are they will take off somewhere. It is wrong to suspect a father who is with a young girl, what if it had been a young boy and his mother , would they get the same treatment. I use to get dirty looks as I hung outside the male toilets for my sons when young to come out.


  • Sorry but that employee needs to be disciplined. Good on them for being vigilant HOWEVER they had already called the police so why were they asking the father for proof? Who do they think they are for starters, but if he was a paedophile why warn him that the police had been called?


  • This is just ridiculous! That poor man. This comes back again to that ‘mother’s room’ ‘parents room’ thing. Father’s should be able to take care of their children without judgement. I think things are just going too far.


  • This was way out of line,who were they to judge them.Sure if it was a padeophile then good job but it wasn’t and it ruined their holiday.


  • yes it was a horrible situation but think about it, if someone took your daughter wouldn’t you appreciate these checks being done, inconvenient but so much going on in the world now, we need to protect our children


  • I think it’s good that a check was done as paedophiles need to be stopped and can be found in all walks of life. Unfortunately, it’s the minority screwing things up for the majority yet again


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