A Lancashire couple posed for holiday snaps with a parrot, despite claiming to Jet2holidays that they were suffering with a gastric illness at the time.
The pair have been convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud and ordered to pay Jet2holidays almost £30,000 after making the bogus claim.
A Manchester court ruled that Martin and Lindsey Brown – aged 38 and 35 respectively and both from Chorley – submitted a false claim against the operator for gastric illness.
After staying at the Emre Hotel in Marmaris, Turkey, in 2016, they fabricated a story about their illness to try to win up to £20,000 in compensation, including legal costs.
They claimed they had suffered with stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea as a result of food poisoning contracted while on an all-inclusive 10-night holiday.
Martin Brown claimed he had soiled himself in bed, and his children had soiled themselves at the pool, as a result of their sickness.
The couple claimed this was caused by negligence, and resulted in them being bed-ridden and prescribed medication after a visit to the hotel doctor.
However, an investigation by Jet2holidays, the hotel, and law firm Horwich Farrelly uncovered evidence showing that the claims were fake and pre-meditated.
Evidence included video of Martin Brown dancing by the pool, despite being allegedly bedridden with nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting, and footage of the couple walking out of the hotel with their two children on the days they claimed to be laid up in bed.
A social media post from a holidaymaker at the same hotel said Martin Brown was in a bar until ‘daft o clock’, and Facebook posts showed the Browns enjoying an evening out despite their alleged illness, including posing for pictures with a parrot.
Another holidaymaker said Martin Brown had bragged about how he planned to fabricate a false sickness claim to win compensation, and how he had done it before.
His Honour Judge Sephton QC convicted the Browns of conspiracy to commit fraud, and said: “They sought to benefit by their wrong-doing in a thoroughly dishonest fashion. Dishonest claims are a scourge which are blighting these courts.”
He also found that “the representations made by their solicitors were dishonest”.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: “Martin and Lindsey Brown travelled to Turkey having already worked out how to make a fraudulent sickness claim, but thanks to our robust investigation their deception has been uncovered.
“Jet2holidays has led the way to tackle the issue of false sickness claims so that holidaymakers do not expose themselves to the risks that come with getting involved in such dishonest activity, and we hope this ruling sends out a serious message to others.”
Emre Deliveli, managing director at Emre Hotels, added: “I’d like to thank Jet2holidays for working with us on this case. We feel that our reputation and high standards have been proved once more and we look forward to receiving more happy UK customers to Emre Hotel and Emre Beach Hotel where they know they will have an excellent holiday.”