Jury considers verdict on Brighton brothers' Lapland scam

Posted On 18 Feb 2011 at 1:26 am

Two brothers from Brighton accused of using a Lapland-style theme park as a money-making scam are waiting for the jury in their trial to return.

Victor Mears, 67, of Selsfield Drive, Moulsecoomb, and Henry Mears, 60, of Coombe Road, Brighton, are suspected of making amore than £1 million from the scam.

The brothers are being tried on eight counts of misleading advertising after thousands of families turned up with young children, only to be disappointed.

The jury retired yesterday afternoon as the brothers deny all the charges.

Dorset Trading Standards has brought the case at Bristol Crown Court after the pair advertised their Lapland New Forest theme park at Matchams Park by the border of Hampshire and Dorest.

They described it as a “winter wonderland” with huskies, polar bears and other animals, snow-covered log cabins and a nativity scene.

Families arrived also expecting a bustling Christmas market.

In fact, they were greeted by the sight of a broken ice rink and fairy lights hanging from trees.

Hundreds of angry visitors to the “winter wonderland” complained to trading standards officials that they had been ripped off.

The site closed days afterwards with the owners blaming negative media coverage and sabotage.

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