A DONCASTER family’s dream holiday turned into a nightmare as they had to witness a ‘paedophile’ harass several children at their hotel.
The Phillips from Armthorpe were among several groups who saw the sick behaviour of a Ukrainian man at the Sunny Beach resort in Bulgaria, popular with thousands of Doncaster families every year. The man, said to be in his 40s, who was in a party of four men, three woman and a baby, was arrested by police and fined for ‘hooliganism’, but was allowed to return hours later.
British Embassy staff were thought to be meeting with Bulgarian police to discuss the matter further following a number of complaints.
Stacey Phillips, 39, who was staying at the Pomorie Hotel with husband Paul, 37, and their three children Macauley, 17, Travis, 15 and 12-year-old Shanice believes the man was part of a paedophile ring.
Mrs Phillips. of Walstow Crescent, first became aware of the problem when Shanice said the man asked her dance at the disco and Macauley complained that he was blowing kisses at him.
She told the Free Press: “I did say to both of them take no notice as there is lots of nationalities here and they all have different ways of being friendly, however we stick to the same rules and we do not talk to strangers. I did not think for one minute this would be a paedophile.”
But the family’s worst fears were realised when another family reported that the man had indecently touched their son after following him into the sea and then into a toilet.
Another child was reportedly propositioned by the same man who made lewd comments to him in the pool.
Mr and Mrs Phillips, a steel worker and a manager at 02 respectively, said hotel staff refused to contact police when families complained and a holiday rep for Balkan Holidays failed to deal with the problem. This resulted in families being forced to contact Bulgarian police and the British Embassy, they said.
Mrs Philips, whose children were not molested by the man, added: “I have not been sleeping properly and the stress and anxiety this has caused my family, myself and all the other families has been horrific.
“Families were crying and extremely upset.”
When the man returned to the hotel guests claimed he was hanging around the kids club.
“He came back large as life, flaunting himself round. This upset and distressed all the families even more. We could not sleep, rest or settle,” said Mrs Phillips.
“I do not think anyone can imagine how upset we have been throughout all of this. Since we got back our little girl won’t sleep in her room.”
The Phillips paid £2,1070 for the trip as a treat following a nightmare year that saw them have to move house after a man set their games room alight when Macauley and his friend were playing in there. Theman was jailed for 18 months.
Mrs Phillips said: “I am always very cautious when we are on holiday about keeping an eye on the children and making sure they don’t wander off but having to worry about a paedophile staying in your hotel is just something that never entered my head.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to settle on another holiday now.”
The Phillips received a response from Alexander Stoyanov, managing director of Balkan Holidays, in which he apologised to the family and said he would be ‘taking personal charge of the matter’. He added he was dealing with the complaint as a ‘priority’.
He added: “To this end, I am in the process of gathering all of the information from the parties involved and anticipate to be in a position to reply to you early next week.”
A British Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We are aware of reports of concerns raised by British nationals about incidents alleged to have occurred in the Sunny Beach region of Bulgaria.”
He added consular staffwould continue to offer help to a number of British nationals in the resort.
Hotel Pomorie could not be reached for comment.