‘Housebound’ Mother jailed after being caught jetting around globe while suing NHS

'Housebound' Mother jailed after being caught jetting around globe while suing NHS
'Housebound' Mother jailed after being caught jetting around globe while suing NHS

A mum has been jailed for six months after trying to con the NHS out of more than £5.7 million as she jetted off around the world.

Linda Metcalf, 37, claimed she could hardly walk or stand, rarely went out and couldn’t even dress herself.

She claimed because of her local trust’s medical negligence she needed sticks to get around and was unable to drive.

But when they put her under surveillance they discovered instead of being housebound, she had been travelling to the other side of the world.

They also found out she had been going on posh shopping trips without any assistance.

Between her visits to doctors to pursue her claim, she visited New Zealand, Fiji, Hong Kong, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Thailand, Wales, Scotland and Scarborough promenade.

IT worker, Metcalf, who has a two-year-old daughter, launched her gigantic claim for medical negligence against her local NHS health trust after a 24 hour delay in diagnosis of a spine condition.

She claimed as a result she needed an adapted home big enough for a carer, compensation for loss of earnings and childcare funds.

Metcalf had accepted a first payment of £75,000 before her lies were exposed.

A Judge at Leeds combined court was told she now admits lying about the extent of her mobility problems.

The court heard how she told a Harley Street doctor in October 2017 she could hardly walk.

But in that same month she went on overnight trips to the Peak District, Wales and York.

Then in November she went to stay in a country house in Cheshire and had a holiday to Lanzarote.

Over Christmas she went to County Durham, the Lake District and Scotland at the end of January.

She then headed off on a five week trip until March, to Singapore, Fiji, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

The Judge was told Metcalf also enjoyed a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads in April 2018 around the time she was meeting experts about the case.

During one trip to the upmarket Liberty store in London, she wrote on Facebook: “The Christmas floor is definitely worth a visit.”

She also reviewed a guest house in York, saying her room was on the “top floor” and was “light airy and elegant”.

Claire Toogood acting on behalf of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, said no admission was made by the defendant until she was “caught out” by the surveillance tapes.

She said “the trust’s submission is, it is difficult to conceive of a case involving so many instances of contempt over such a long period of time”.

She said it involved “such a lot of money from a public body, namely the NHS, which can ill afford to pay out on fraudulent or exaggerated claims.”

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