A British Father Christmas has been suspended after allegedly telling children that Santa was not real and mentioning the recent US school massacre, it was reported on Thursday.
The man was working at Notcutts Garden Centre in Oxford, south England, when he reportedly told siblings Ryan Kennett, 10, Amy, seven, and Katie, six, that he was not the real Santa.
Wendy Kennett, the children's father, told the Oxford Mail that Santa began by talking about the Sandy Hook School shooting.
She said he told them: “Well there are bad people in the world and bad things happen, like what happened to those children in America.”
Ryan was then left alone with the man, but almost immediately ran out shouting: “Santa told me he is not real, it's just you and dad.”
Mrs Kennett said: “I was totally furious. I now had three children in floods of tears.”
A Notcutts spokesman confirmed that the man was a freelancer and said he had been suspended from his job for the season.
“He has worked for us for 10 years without any complaint and we will be sitting down with him in the future to discuss the incident,” said the spokesman. - Sapa-AFP