Paul Higgins successful in committal proceedings on behalf of Jet 2 Holidays
Four members of the same family were each committed to prison for four months after making false claims that they had been ill on holiday.
They intimated claims on behalf of themselves and two children following an all-inclusive trip to the Canary Islands in November 2016. Each of them claimed to have suffered from a constellation of symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhoea, hot and cold sweats and headaches. They said that they had been unable to leave their rooms for two days and they issued proceedings claiming damages of six times the price of their holiday.
Jet 2 unearthed social media material in which they appeared to be enjoying their holiday. There was no suggestion that anyone had been ill. Furthermore, one member of the family completed a Jet2 survey in which he said he was “very satisfied” with the choice, cleanliness and quality of meals the hotel had provided. The family abandoned their claims when confronted with the social media material but denied that their claims were dishonest.
The subsequent committal proceedings were listed for a 4-day hearing before HHJ Mark Gargan sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court. However, on the morning of the first day, the family admitted that their claims had been false.
The Judge said that his starting point was 9 months imprisonment, which he reduced to 5 months due to personal mitigation and the effect of COVID on the prison service. He reduced that period by 20% on account of the admissions.
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Paul Higgins was instructed by David Scott and Scott Gerrard of Horwich Farrelly Solicitors.