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Avoid Radical Feminist 'Travelodge' Hotels At All Costs!
Widower staying with his own daughter, 13, is accused of being a PAEDOPHILE by feminist Travelodge staff and interviewed by police all because he booked a double room
Staff asked Craig Darwell, 46, to show ID for his daughter Millie, 13, at check in He showed images of them together when she was a baby but they called police Mr Darwell, who lost wife ten years ago, and Millie were questioned separately
Millie was 'distraught' and left in floods of tears after interview with the officer
By James Dunn: A widower who lost his wife to cancer was accused of being a paedophile by Travelodge staff because he booked a double room for him and his daughter.
Craig Darwell, 46, was taking Millie, 13, to visit Thorpe Park and was forced to book the double room in Chertsey, Surrey, because there were no others available.
But when he checked in, suspicious staff demanded that he show them his daughter's ID.
Mr Darwell, who lost his wife to leukaemia when Millie was just four, explained that he did not have ID for his daughter and instead showed staff pictures of them together when she was a baby.
But even after seeing them, staff called the police and he and his daughter were forced into separate rooms and interviewed by a police officer.
Mr Darwell, who felt 'knotted inside' after the accusation, said his daughter was 'distraught' and refused to leave the room after the ordeal.
'My little girl was in her room crying her eyes out when we were supposed to be going out for tea for a special weekend,' he told MailOnline.
He added: 'I lost my wife nearly ten years ago and I've done everything for her on my own ever since and this has never happened before.
'But if her mum was still around and she had been there with her and not me, this would never have happened.'
Mr Darwell, a self-employed car dealer from near Leeds, booked the hotel and tickets to Thorpe Park as a Christmas present for his 'thrill-seeker' daughter.
He booked the hotel in January and was told that all that was available was a double room so booked it, but was not told he would need to prove he was her father.
He claims that he left his daughter in reception while he parked his car after checking in, then faced the awkward questions on his return.
Taken aback, he showed the manager his customised phone cover, plastered with pictures of him and his daughter together.
He also showed him a touching Facebook post written about his daughter on her birthday, which read: 'Can't believe I have a teenager! Happy 13th birthday to my daughter Amelia Rose Darwell...Millie.... Been a struggle over the years and still is but I am proud to have seen you blossom into a wonderful little lady.'
Other staff looked uncomfortable and guests started watching, as Mr Darwell was told that the inquisition was 'company policy', he claims.
He was then given his key and went upstairs but was so shaken that he went back down to complain.
'If that really was company policy, then they should have told me and I could have brought her passport or something like that.
I’ve been on my own for nearly ten years and I've never had anything like that before.
'I said I wanted to see the guidelines but he said it was internal, then smirked and said "and by the way, I’ve called the police.
'A WPC arrived and she worked out in about two seconds what had happened. She was very nice but said she had to question me because the complaint had been made.
'The worst part was that she then had to go upstairs and question Millie on whether or not I was her dad. She was absolutely distraught.
'There was another member of staff who said he hadn't been there for long. Even he said I had been treated disgustingly.
The police officer said that he had obviously been on a training course and put two and two together and got ten.'
Mr Darwell complained and says that the company are now falsely claiming that he tried to pay by cash in order to justify their suspicion.
'They say I insisted on paying cash when I arrived but its rubbish. I had already paid by credit card before I even arrived,' he added.
Travelodge say they are investigating the incident and have apologised to Mr Darwell, who said the ordeal totally 'ruined' the weekend.
The same thing happened to author and broadcaster Will Self, who was stopped by police while out walking with his 11-year-old son.
A security guard had called the police after seeing Self, who was 51 at the time, walking with the boy on a rambling holiday in Yorkshire.
'No Englishman enjoying a ramble with his son should face examination by police at the roadside on suspicion of being a sexual predator,' he said at the time.
Mr Darwell, from Leeds, said that in nearly ten years of taking his daughter to events and on outings alone since his wife died, this has never happened before.
The staff member told him it was 'company policy' to make such inquiries and made him go on Facebook to reveal messages between them, Mr Darwell claims.
A spokesman for Travelodge said: 'We take our responsibilities towards protecting children and vulnerable young people extremely seriously.
'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 said: 'We were called by a member of staff at the Travelodge on Guildford Street in Chertsey on Thursday, 30 March just after 8pm following a concern for safety.
'Officers attended and made no arrests, no further enquiries will take place. Hotels, taxi companies and other licensed premises’ have recently been equipped with the right knowledge to identify children who could be at risk of exploitation under Operation Makesafe.'
Ray Barry, leader of Equal Parenting Alliance, said: 'If it is company policy, it is outrageous that someone should question a father and suggest that he is up to no good when taking out his daughter.
'These attitudes are at least 100 years out of date and must be challenged, we cannot just accept it or it will never change.
'Although often it is simply the prejudices of one person who uses guidelines to justify their own outdated attitudes.
'There is this presumption that a man with a female child might be up to no good and it doesn’t work the other way.
'These attitudes are out of date and increasingly fathers are becoming more involved parents.'