The police will certainly not be going to a civil court. I don’t know where they get that idea from.
If they have found another child to go on the trip and the name was changed to that child, you are responsible for the cost of the name change provided they can prove it cost that much on some kind of credible piece of paper.
If it was £140 and who had already paid £300, you are entitled to £170 back.
If the name has now changed to the other child’s name, the situation would be that there would presumably be another £140 to change the name back! The second child would be responsible for that cost. However you are no longer liable for the balance and they are liable to you to return the balance to you provided the name was changed to the second child. If the name was actually never changed but they had the money from the other child, to my mind, the problem then rests with the new child family as there was an agreement for you to relinquish and the other child to take over.
Beware of exchanging lots of correspondence asking for the money back because then, they can allege that you are harassing them. Send no more than a couple of letters and then either let it lie for issue Small Claims Court proceedings.
However, it works the other way also, if they are continually writing and texting you, asking you for this money or whatever, you can then complain to the police that they are harassing you.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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They cannot have the money for the change of name and also the balance of the holiday. Either the name has been changed or it’s not.
The fact that they have refused to supply credible proof of the change the name actually helps them and not you. If they don’t supply proof, then the presumption is that it wasn’t changed!
I agree with you, why should you leave them with £300?
However you then say that no one is taking the place for the holiday and if no one is taking the place, even though they have tried, you are actually liable for the full cost of the holiday but, and this is very important, only if they are having to pay. That you should be asking for proof.
At the moment, I would go along the avenue whereby they said that they had been changed and I’m push that, I would just take that on face value hence what the balance of my money back over and above £140.