Wallasey couple jailed after faking sickness bug on Majorcan holiday

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A Middle-aged couple who were caught faking a sickness bug on Majorcan Thomas Cook holiday after boasting on Facebook of ‘sun, laughter and fun’ are jailed in landmark case

Deborah Briton, 53, and partner Paul Roberts, 43, were jailed at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting fraud.

They tried to claim nearly £20,000 saying their two children fell ill on holidays to Majorca in 2015 and 2016.

Judge David Aubrey QC said there had been an “explosion” in gastric illness claims made by UK holidaymakers.

Briton, who was jailed for nine months, and Roberts, who received a 15-month term, bragged about their holidays on social media, the court heard.

The pair, from Wallasey, Wirral, both admitted four counts of fraud in the private prosecution, brought by holiday company Thomas Cook.

The couple made the claims over stays at Majorca’s Globales America hotel

Family members, including Briton’s daughter Charlene, who had initially been charged with two counts of fraud that were later dropped, shouted out in court as the couple were jailed

The court heard that had they succeeded, the couple would have also cost the holiday firm a further £28,000 in legal expenses.

Judge Aubrey said their claims had been a “complete and utter sham”.

“They were bogus from start to finish, you were both asserting on your behalfs and on behalf of your two children that on two separate holidays you had suffered illness.

“They were totally and utterly fake.”

He said the claims, made in August last year, must have required planning and premeditation.

He said: “Why? Pure greed. Seeking to get something for nothing.”

The judge said those tempted to make a dishonest claim must “expect to receive an immediate custodial sentence” if convicted.

A Thomas Cook spokesman added “We had to take a stand to protect our holidays and our customers from the minority who cheat the system.”