Fraud family's holiday lie caught out in Facebook photo

A family who made up claims they were sick on holiday to get compensation were caught after posting pictures of their trip on Facebook.

Christopher Byng, 38, Barbara Byng, 64, Linda Lane, 36, and Anthony Byng, 66, all from Middlesbrough in the UK were convicted of contempt of court at Teesside Combined Court on Friday (local time).

They admitted to submitting false gastric illness claims, which could have resulted in them getting a pay-out of tens of thousands of pounds from Jet2holidays.

The group claimed they, and the two children they were travelling with, had all suffered from various symptoms, including stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhoea as a result of food poisoning on an all-inclusive holiday at the Paradise Lago Taurito and Waterpark, Gran Canaria in November 2016.

One of the group posted images of the trip on Facebook, despite claiming they were ill on the holiday
Linda Lane, posted photos of the group enjoying the pool on Facebook, despite claiming they were sick. Source: Facebook

They then issued court proceedings, which the tour operator defended.

During investigations, evidence emerged showing their claims were not true, including several social media posts from the family, including images and video footage of them enjoying themselves on holiday despite claiming to be ill.

The photos included the group using a waterslide, swimming in the pool and drinking in the bar.

They did not mention any illness despite claiming to have suffered from severe symptoms at the time.

Christopher Byng also answered in a survey sent by Jet2holidays he was “very satisfied” with the choice, cleanliness and quality of meals the hotel offered.

He was also asked if anyone had been unwell on the holiday, but he chose not to answer.

Paradise Lago Taurito and Waterpark, Gran Canaria.
The group claimed they, and the two children they were travelling with, had all suffered from various illnesses while staying at the Paradise Lago Taurito and Waterpark.Source: Tripadvisor

Byng added he was ‘very likely’ to book with Jet2holidays again in the next 12 months.

Christopher, Barbara and Anthony Byng all received four-month custodial sentences, with Linda receiving a suspended sentence.

They were also ordered to pay Jet2holidays’ legal costs.

During sentencing, Judge Mark Gargan said “false claims for holiday sickness are all too prevalent.”

He added these claims were “not merely a case of exaggeration” and were a “complete invention”.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2holidays said the company wouldn’t hesitate to tackle false claims.

“We have led the way when it comes to tackling the issue of fake sickness claims, and we continue to do so. Issuing a false claim for compensation is fraud, plain and simple, and we have been at pains to warn people that there are serious consequences if they choose to do so,” Mr Heapy said.

“Today’s ruling is the latest illustration of that, and it sends out a very stark message. We will not hesitate to take action against fraudsters, and the courts will not hesitate to punish them.”

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