A travel company chief who falsely claimed holidays he sold were covered by ABTA, IATA and the Federation of Tour Operators has been found guilty on seven counts of obtaining money by deception.

Peter Britton, who ran Dorset-based agency Britts Abroad, received a 12-month suspended sentence and is required to pay substantial compensation to customers who lost money due to his company not honouring travel arrangements.

ABTA risk manager Steve Abrahamson said: “We’ll always press for the strongest possible sanctions when someone fraudulently claims to be an ABTA Member. Dorset Trading Standards and the police deserve a great deal of credit for they way the have pursued Mr Britton.

“We hope this case puts the message out loud and clear that this will not be tolerated.”