Lyme Bay man used misleading ski brochure

12th November 2004 at 00:00
One of the men linked to a holiday company found guilty of the UK's first corporate manslaughter case has been using misleading endorsements from schools to promote skiing trips.

Chris Reynard was a major shareholder in the company fined pound;60,000 over the deaths of four teenagers on a canoeing trip in Lyme Bay, Dorset, in 1993. He was banned from holding directorships until 2006 after another firm he ran became insolvent.

The 63-year-old now works with Skiing Europe, which organises trips for parties of teachers and pupils. The company promotes itself using enthusiastic endorsements from 12 schools, colleges and local education authorities.

John Askew, from the county borough of Bootle, is quoted on the company's website saying: "We feel that your organisation has achieved great things in laying on such a perfect weekend." But the borough of Bootle was abolished in 1974. Mr Askew is not known at its successor, Sefton council.

Lynda Corrie, headteacher at Sherrardswood school in Hertfordshire, said that she would make a complaint after she learnt the school's name was being used to endorse the trips.

She said Sherrardswood had not run a skiing trip for more than eight years, while Dorset-based Skiing Europe has existed only since 2001. "We are not happy at all that they are using our name in this way," she said.

Mr Reynard said all the endorsements were genuine, but admitted that many were out of date and referred to a different company, Ski Europe, which was sold in 1994. "You get some changes over the years, but it's the same team, the same organisation," he said.

His solicitors added in a statement: "We understand that at the time the material was written Mr Reynard took careful advice, and was told that any comments written directly to him as the owner of Ski Europe, he is perfectly entitled to use as the owner of Skiing Europe.

"In short there is nothing whatsoever misleading in the points you raised and Mr Reynard appears to have acted completely properly."

In fact, Companies House records say that the owner of the only two shares in Skiing Europe Ltd is its sole director, Iwona Nowicka.

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