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St Helens fantasist John Williams jailed for two years following elaborate cons
6:25pm Wednesday 7th August 2013 in News
A FANTASIST who falsely claimed his pregnant wife had cancer in order to claim a free holiday has been jailed for two years.
John Williams, 36, formerly of Broad Oak Road, Parr was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after details of his elaborate frauds emerged.
Last July Williams made a telephone call to the customer contact centre at the Manchester Airports Group wishing to make a complaint.
He said his wife, who he falsely claimed had pancreatic cancer, had contacted Manchester Airport’s online travel agent Airline Direct Travel, and tried to book a family holiday to Florida.
Williams alleged his wife was put on hold and overheard the call taker say: “Why does everyone with cancer want to go to Florida?”
He said when she heard this she collapsed in front of their children and their 10-year-old son ran out to get help from a neighbour.
Williams, who also falsely claimed he was a doctor, claimed the neighbour was so outraged he contacted the press and had generated a lot of media interest.
Owing to the alleged media interest, the complaint was brought to the attention of Manchester Airport’s head of communications who took the view that if the complaint was genuine the Williams family should be given the holiday for free.
This was passed to ADT who processed the flights and accommodation which cost £7,000.
But due to the nature of the complaint ADT were keen to find out which of their employees had taken the call from Mrs Williams.
Williams provided a time and date of the alleged call, but ADT could not find any record.
They requested a copy of William’s telephone bill, this was promised, but was never provided.
The company conducted a full audit of their telephone system, which revealed that no call was made and the complaint made by Williams was in fact false.
The holiday was cancelled, costing the Manchester Airport Group £3,500.
Williams was informed of this on August 13, 2012. But he contacted the head of communications for the group to say he had been in contact with ABTA and ITN News about the way he was treated.
Williams said he wanted the holiday reinstating or for the Manchester Airports Group to cancel their contract with ADT. He was told neither of these things would happen.
On Friday, August 17, 2012 Williams arrived at Manchester Airport with his wife and two young children.
He went to book in for their flight to Orlando where he was arrested on suspicion of attempted fraud.
Police Constable Simon Booth, from the Airport, said: “Williams deceived both his family and members of staff at Manchester Airport.
“When he was interviewed he admitted making up the complaint and falsely claiming his wife had cancer.
“He told his wife he was employed, but in fact he had no job and said he wanted to provide a holiday for his family, but could not do this without being dishonest.
“Williams may have had financial difficulties, but it is unspeakable to falsely claim his wife, who was pregnant with their second child, had cancer in order to get a free holiday.”
Williams also admitted a succession of other scams, including pretending to be a doctor and charity worker to make a gain, which he had committed in St Helens this year.
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