You better watch out, you'll probably cry: Santa Claus suspended after claiming he wasn't real and telling children about US school shooting

Santa Claus allegedly told children in his grotto 'I'm not real, it's your mum and dad'

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The Independent Online

A Santa Claus has been suspended after he allegedly told children in his grotto 'I'm not real, it's your mum and dad'.

The Father Christmas, who was working on a freelance basis at Notcutts Garden Centre in Nuneham Courtenay, Oxford, is also alleged to have told some of the children about the US school massacre in Connecticut.

The man, who is believed to have worked for the Garden Centre for ten years, reportedly made the remarks to the children of Wendy and Steven Kennett.

They had taken their children Ryan, 10, Amy, seven, and Katie, six, to the centre on Saturday - paying £5.99 for each child to meet Santa.

Mrs Kennett told the Oxford Mail that Santa started talking about the Sandy Hook School shooting after the children had told him they had been good.

She said he replied: "Well there are bad people in the world and bad things happen, like what happened to those children in America," before Mr Kennett stopped him.

It was then that Santa asked to talk to Ryan alone and after a chat, he ran out crying "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 family had complained about what the Santa had said.

They said the Santa was under the impression the boy was playing along for his siblings and wanted to thank him.

"This man was a freelancer and he has been suspended from his job for the season," he said.

"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.

"At the end of the day the customer is upset. We have apologised for that and we have taken steps and the family have been kept informed."

He added the garden centre had arranged for the family, from Abingdon, to go to London to visit the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland attraction.