Mother, 50, who claimed £2.5million compensation from the NHS saying operation left her disabled is
A mother who claimed she needed a £2.5m payout from the NHS over a botched operation has been jailed after photos surfaced of her at a hen party in Ibiza, Daily Mail reported.
Lesley Elder, 50, claimed an operation she underwent at a hospital in Nuneaton left her in such pain she couldn't work, travel, or walk unaided.
She demanded the seven-figure sum from the NHS - which awarded her £120,000 after the surgery was found to be have been unnecessary - but has been jailed for five moths after her story of its consequences unravelled in court.
She claimed it made her a reclusive shadow of her former self but photos of her 'partying after midnight' at her daughter's hen do on the island appeared on Facebook.
She was found in contempt of court by Judge Karen Walden-Smith, who said it was an 'attempt to effectively defraud the NHS' out of more than £2m.
Miss Elder was sentenced in her absence after earlier being taken to hospital when she appeared to swallow a handful of pills in court.
In one of the photos, in which she appears to be one of two women wearing a 'mother' sash, not only was Elder 'tagged' (circled, left ) but she herself Liked the photo (right of image)
London's High Court heard that the mother-of-two, from Poole, Dorset, had the operation in 2010 in an attempt to cure a supposed issue concerning her urinary tract.
However, she had been wrongly diagnosed and the operation was 'contraindicated' and 'not necessary', the court heard.
The George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust admitted liability for putting her through the unnecessary surgery.
But it said her claim for more than £2.5m in damages was 'grossly exaggerated' - and a judge ultimately awarded her only £120,000.
In her claim, Miss Elder had said she was severely disabled by the operation, with severe and constant pain in her groin and leg.
She had to use a walking stick to get around, she claimed, and was unable to do many of the normal activities she previously enjoyed.
She was particularly upset that she had not been able to go to her daughter, Tania Bunston's, hen do, she claimed.
She said she needed more than £1m worth of care and support.
But after surveillance by private investigators and searches of social media, the truth about her injuries came to light.
She was photographed in an Ibiza nightclub, wearing a straw hat and sash with her daughter and other women, the court was told.
Miss Elder insisted the trip was not a hen party, but simply a holiday.
However, ruling on her case at a county court in 2017, Judge Iain Hughes QC said the party was women-only, all of them wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words 'Tania's hen party'.
Surveillance evidence also showed she was not as disabled as she claimed, revealing her able to walk unaided, do her shopping and exercise her dog, he said.
Miss Elder - who hobbled into court with a walking stick and arrived at a previous hearing in a wheelchair - was not seen in any of the surveillance footage using a walking aid, he added.
Judge Hughes ultimately awarded her only £120,000 - less than five per cent of the sum she had claimed.
The case reached the High Court after the NHS Trust launched a bid to have her locked up for contempt of court.
NHS barrister, William Featherby QC, said Miss Elder had told 'lies from top to bottom'.
'This claimant lies about her health to seek advantage,' he told Judge Walden-Smith.
He said it was clear from Judge Hughes' county court judgment that Miss Elder does not need a walking stick.
Her claims of grave disability were 'exaggerated' and 'dishonest', and the £2.5m sum claimed was 'inflated beyond reason', he said.
For Miss Elder, Michael Mansfield QC said her life had indeed been turned upside down by the operation.
Previously, she was a support worker for disabled schoolchildren, a 'dynamic, proactive person who thrived on helping others', he said.
But the suffering she had experienced since the operation caused her to become a changed character, he claimed.
Jailing her, Judge Walden-Smith said Miss Elder's conduct included 'extensive and widespread exaggeration and lies'.
Claiming she had not been able to go to the hen party in Ibiza, when she had in fact 'fully participated', was an 'outright attempt to mislead'.
'On the findings of Judge Hughes, she had been seeking to defraud the NHS out of damages in excess of £2m, to which she wasn't entitled,' she said.
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My view: She's a greedy woman, she got caught while dancing her heart out and now she has to go to prison, It is shameless people like her that cripple the NHS. Fraudulent claims for compensation against the NHS take money away from patient care.