A couple found guilty of a fake holiday sickness scam have been jailed after admitting fraud.
Deborah Briton, 53 and her partner Paul Roberts, 43 had tried to claim nearly £20,000 following holidays in Majorca in 2015 and 2016, alleging that their two children had fallen ill while on holiday.
Issuing the sentence at Liverpool Crown Court judge David Aubrey QC said there had been an “explosion” in gastric illness claims made by UK holidaymakers.
The court heard that the pair had bragged about their holidays on social media.
They both admitted four counts of fraud in the private prosecution, brought by Thomas Cook.
Briton was jailed for nine months while Roberts received a 15-month sentence.
If the pair had been successful with their claim, they would have cost the company £28,000 in legal expenses.
Judge Aubrey said their claims had been a "complete and utter sham", the BBC reported. "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."
Aubrey added that the claims, which were made in August last year, would have required planning and premeditation. "Why?” he said. “Pure greed. Seeking to get something for nothing."
The judge said that 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."
Earlier in the summer a holidaymaker from Wales was ordered to pay £25,000 to Thomson, after a court found she had lied about a holiday sickness.
A recorder at Wrexham County Court ordered that she had been ’fundamentally dishonest’ and must pay the holiday giant £25,000 by 4pm on October 6.