Bogus Benidorm sickness claimants spared jail

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jet2holidays have won a landmark ruling against four defendants at Liverpool County Court at the beginning of November.

The four, Michael Jameson, Jane Weir, Claire Weir and Janet Weir, had filed a compensation claim against Jet2holidays which could potentially have cost the company £45,000.

The four stayed with four children at the Aqua Magic Rock Gardens Hotel in Benidorm on an all-inclusive basis in July 2015.

They said the holiday was ruined when the party was struck by illness – with nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting all listed among the symptoms they supposedly suffered. Their compensation bid argued that ill-health had been caused by negligence.

Unfortunately, the four didn’t exactly tell the same story on social media. In the same month as their week-long holiday Janet Weir (63) wrote on her Facebook page: “Well what can I say what a birthday present just got back from Benidorm had the best holiday ever lovely hotel, food and brilliant company didn’t want to come home thank you once again to my lovely daughters and families for the best time ever love you all”.

Daughter Jane replied: “Glad u enjoyed yeself loved every minute of it myself”.

Daughter Claire replied: “Wish I was there now mum”.

Another strand of evidence was a record from the hotel showing that the claimants had ordered lager, vodka, gin and amaretto during the time they claimed to be ill.

The four defendants blamed the advice of their previous solicitors (strongly denied by the firms involved) but pleaded guilty to contempt. High Court judge Justice Choudhury said the evidence against them was “little short of overwhelming”.

They were each sentenced to 3 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years and fined £750 each.

Following their sentencing, Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said “We have 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”.

Let’s hope that through cases like this holidaymakers who are approached in Benidorm bars and asked if they had been feeling ill during their all-inclusive holiday will be able to say a clear and definitive “NO”.

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