Man said his wife was dying to claim cheap holiday

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A FANTASIST who falsely claimed his pregnant wife had terminal cancer to claim a free holiday has been jailed.

Brazen conman John Williams claimed he was a GP and complained that staff at a Manchester Airport-based travel agency had mocked his wife’s condition as part of a ruse to claim a family holiday to Florida - worth £7,000 - for free.

But his web of deceit was exposed when phone records proved that his wife had not even contacted the firm.

Charlotte Kenny, prosecuting, told how the 36-year-old claimed his wife had overheard call-handlers saying “what is it with these dying people wanting to see Mickey Mouse?”

He also claimed that his wife had been vomiting due to the stress of the call and that a freelance journalist was interested in exposing the story - all of which was false.

But the ATD travel agency later cancelled the compensation holiday, at a cost of £3,500, after discovering that Williams had lied about his wife making the call.

The father-of-three, of Broad Oak Road, Parr, appeared before Liverpool Crown Court with his arm in a sling last Friday (August 2) - and also pleaded guilty to four other frauds.

In a similar scam on December 20, 2011, a man calling himself Dr John Williams called the Office Depot mail order firm to complain that his wife had overheard inappropriate comments from call-handlers about their son while ordering an i-pad.

On this occasion he claimed his wife had multiple sclerosis and his son a serious heart condition.

By way of compensation, the company sent him an i-pad - worth £400 - for free.

This offence put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence dished out after he had “bought” a £3,500 Renault Scenic from Warren Autos in St Helens with a fraudulent banker’s draft.

But Williams was rumbled by astute Office Depot call-handlers when he tried to repeat the trick on January 26 this year - this time calling himself Marcus Timms.

Upon his arrest, two further frauds came to light.

On January 23 this year Williams asked for a room at a reduced rate at a Premier Inn hotel in St Helens, claiming he had just been stabbed by his wife.

When staff refused his request, he made a phone call - again claiming to be called Marcus Timms - saying he worked for a domestic violence charity and needed to arrange cheap accomodation for his client, John Williams.

He again falsely claimed staff had made inappropriate remarks about his predicament in order to get the room at a reduced rate and later claimed two meals, including a carvery, for free.

Christine Redmond, defending Williams, said her client’s marriage was breaking down at the time of the offences and that he was suffering from “emotional turmoil”.

She added that he had tried to get the free holiday to encourage his pregnant wife to relax and that the first offence targeting Office Depot had been to get his stepson an i-pad for Christmas.

Judge Clement Goldstone told a sobbing Williams: “You’re a plausible, persistent and almost professional conman and you are entirely responsible for the position in which you find yourself. I’m afraid your luck has run out.”

He jailed Williams for two years.