The Mears brothers from Brighton have had their convictions quashed in the Lapland “winter wonderland” fraud case.
The two brothers were jailed for 13 months in March for conning thousands of families over the Lapland theme park in the New Forest.
Victor Mears, 67, of Selsfield Drive, Moulsecoomb, and Henry Mears, 60, of Coombe Road, Brighton, took their case to the Court of Appeal although they have finished serving their sentences.
Their barrister, Geoffrey Robinson, said that their convictions were unsafe because a juror had received text messages about the case from her fiancé.
He was in the public gallery where he heard information kept back from the jury.
He sent her one text saying “guilty” but tried to argue that it referred to a fried breakfast that he had eaten when he was supposed to be on a diet.
Dorset Trading Standards, which prosecuted the brothers at Bristol Crown Court, will not be seeking a retrial.
The three judges – Lord Justice Moore-Bick, Mr Justice Butterfield and Mr Justice Irwin – will give the reasons for their decision in the near future.
The brothers were originally convicted after a two-month trial was told that they were behind a scam that netted more than £1 million.
Jurors were told that many of their victims were families with young children, disappointed after responding to adverts in The Argus and other local newspapers three years ago.
The adverts enticed them to visit the bogus “winter wonderland” but the attraction consisted of little more than a muddy field, a broken ice rink and fairy lights hanging from a tree.
The site closed within days, with the Mears brothers blaming negative media coverage and sabotage.
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