UK & World News
'Unreal' Father Christmas Leaves Kids In Tears
A Father Christmas has been suspended from the grotto after he apparently told children Santa Claus wasn't real and went on to talk about the US school massacre.
His choice of festive discussions with the children, aged just six, seven and 10, left the youngsters in tears.
The man, who has been Father Christmas at the garden centre in Oxford for 10 years, was suspended from his job for the rest of the season.
Wendy and Steven Kennett had taken their children, Ryan, 10, Amy, seven, and Katie, six, to the Notcutts Garden Centre on Saturday and paid £5.99 for each child to see Santa.
However, Mrs Kennett said that Father Christmas started to discuss the US Sandy Hook shooting, in which 20 children were gunned down in their classrooms.
She said her children had told Santa that they had been good, but that he had replied: "Well there are bad people in the world and bad things happen, like what happened to those children in America."
At that point Mr Kennett stopped him but asked him to speak to Ryan alone.
After that, the 10-year-old ran out, telling his parents: "Santa told me he is not real, it's just you and dad."
A Notcutts spokesman confirmed the family had complained about the remarks but said the Father Christmas has never caused any upsets before.
He said: "This man was a freelancer and he has been suspended from his job for the season."
The spokesman said they would be discussing the incident with the man and that the garden centre had arranged for the family to go on a trip to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland attraction.