Family charged with making bogus £52,000 holiday illness claim

Family charged with making bogus £52,000 holiday illness claim

A family has been accused of lying about being ill on holiday to extort £52,000 from Thomas Cook in what is set to be a landmark court case.

Deborah Briton, 53, and her partner Paul Roberts, 43, submitted bogus compensation claims for themselves and their two children for two all-inclusive holidays in Majorca, a preliminary hearing was told.

Another daughter of Mrs Briton, Charlene Briton, 30, submitted a further false claim for herself and her young daughter for one of the holidays last year, the court heard.

The trio appeared at Liverpool magistrates’ court last week and pleaded not guilty to six counts of fraud, the Mail on Sunday reported

They could face between 18 months and six years in prison if found guilty.

It is thought to be the first time someone has appeared in a criminal court in the UK accused of making a fake compensation claim for holiday sickness.

Prosecutor Sam Brown said that in total the fraud amounted to £52,000. The claims, submitted by David Norman Solicitors, were for food poisoning. Charlene Briton was accompanied to court by her daughter.

District judge Andrew Shaw told the defendants, from Liverpool, that he will send the case to crown court for trial and that the allegations represented a “sophisticated fraud with relatively high value of money claimed”.

The judge adjourned the case until a pre-trial hearing on August 10 and the defendants were given unconditional bail.

Thomas Cook last week successfully defended a civil claim for £10,000 compensation from Julie Lavelle and her partner Michael McIntyre after a court found them to be “fundamentally dishonest”.

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