| Last updated
A couple from Liverpool who tried to win thousands of pounds in compensation from a holiday company have been ordered to pay £15,000 - a record amount for a fraudulent holiday sickness claim.
Chelsea Devine, 21, and Jamie Melling, 22, had said that they were laid low with food poisoning for weeks after their all inclusive TUI holiday in Benidorm, reports the Metro.
However, they were found out when selfies next to the pool and happy holiday snaps were discovered on Facebook.
They must now pay TUI the full amount by next Friday.
They originally demanded £2,500 each in separate statements made in 2016, but a judge ruled against them.
Fraudulent holiday sickness claims are on the way up, and there are fears that the money paid out by holiday companies for these such claims could have an effect on the price of holidays.
The Metro reports that judge Sally Hatfield QC said: "I find that they have not proved that they were ill. I cannot accept that they would upload photographs of themselves as a happy couple if the holiday was as they claim.
"The statements are identical. They say that they did not collude, but it is clear the statements were not written by them. There are inaccuracies in them.
"They did not complain [at the time] despite it being easy to do so. They did not complain when they came home. Have the claimants proved that they were ill?
"I do not accept that they did not raise the fact of their alleged illness with the hotel because they were young and inexperienced. They were young, but they were in contact with their parents, who apparently gave them no advice.
"I find that there is no reason why they did not complain. I do not attribute any illness to the unsatisfactory food. There is no evidence of contamination. I accept the evidence of the hotel, and there is no evidence of any outbreak."
TUI released a statement that read: "It's disappointing we have had to go this far to defend our industry and hotel partners, as well as protect honest holidaymakers.
"The court has found they brought claims that are fundamentally dishonest and have been ordered to pay our costs.
"This goes to highlight the penalty you can face if you bring an exaggerated or fraudulent holiday sickness claim."
It is thought that the rise in bogus claims for holiday illnesses and sickness outbreaks are on the increase as a result of a government crackdown on fraudulent whiplash claims from car accidents.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read