Travel boss who allegedly left holidaymakers stranded in £27k fraud appears in court

A travel operator who disappointed hundreds of holidaymakers who forked out sums totalling £27,000 for a break that never materialised has appeared in court.

Angry would-be holidaymakers in February 2020 after learning they would not be going away
Angry would-be holidaymakers in February 2020 after learning they would not be going away

Anthony Taylor, 57, appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court charged with an offence of fraudulent trading relating to an incident on February 10 last year when the coaches failed to arrive.

Customers paid the defendant for the trip booked with his Bilston-based enterprise TT Tours for stays at two hotels in Torquay.

On Friday the court refused an application by Taylor, 57, to vacate his guilty plea given on a basis at a previous hearing, that he had paid the cash to a booking agent called Roger Pilsbury.

Taylor told Judge Mr Recorder Marc Brown that he pleaded guilty at a hearing in April this year due to his poor mental health, but his application was dismissed.

The judge also dismissed Taylor's evidence given in a so-called 'Newton hearing' that Mr Pilsbury was responsible for the problems.

Mr Ben Mill, prosecuting, told the court that an investigation had failed to find any record of such a person.

Mr Recorder Brown told Taylor: "I therefore do not accept your evidence. I am sure that Mr Pilsbury was not involved and that none of the money was given to an agent.

"Therefore I will proceed to sentence."

Taylor told the court that he accepted that the business had been mismanaged and was "in a bad state" at the time of the offence.

The matter was adjourned until November 19. Taylor, of Mount Road, Portobello, Willenhall, was granted unconditional bail until then.

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