Lottery winner scooped £5million jackpot – but ended up in court for benefits fraud
Posted June 6, 2023 by: Admin
In a truly remarkable tale, Lawrence Candlish, a lottery winner from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, has captivated hearts with his incredible journey. Lawrence’s life took an unexpected turn when he scooped a staggering £5.5 million in the National Lottery back in 1997, just three years after its launch. Filled with immense gratitude and love for his family, he generously shared his newfound wealth, ensuring their well-being and happiness.
With a heartwarming gesture, Lawrence purchased seven homes on his estate, providing his loved ones with the opportunity to live close to each other. His devotion to family knew no bounds. Sadly, a devastating fire engulfed his own home, prompting him to seek solace in the sunny shores of Santa Pola, Alicante, Spain. It was there that he acquired a beautiful house, fondly named Casa Shearer after his idol, the renowned former Newcastle United striker and Match of the Day pundit.
Not content with simply enjoying his fortune, Lawrence embarked on an entrepreneurial journey, opening an Irish bar and restaurant alongside his beloved father, Frank. Together, they created a warm and inviting space where locals and tourists alike could come together and create lasting memories.
However, life took an unexpected turn, and Lawrence found himself facing financial hardship. Despite his best efforts, he encountered financial difficulties and eventually declared bankruptcy. Tragically, in 2009, Lawrence’s father, Frank, faced unbearable despair and took his own life. The following year, Lawrence, who had been battling a bone disease, returned to the UK with no funds to his name. Unbeknownst to authorities, he continued to claim disability allowance, as he neglected to inform them about his move to Spain.
Regrettably, during the period between May 2005 and December 2010, Lawrence wrongfully received £13,365 in disability benefits. In a gesture of unwavering support, he had previously shared a portion of his lottery winnings with his sister, Melanie Batey, who had also relocated to Spain in 2007. Despite receiving a generous sum of £800,000 from the lottery, Melanie claimed over £23,000 in income support. Both Lawrence and Melanie, caring for their mother who shared Melanie’s condition, deeply regretted their actions.
In October 2012, Lawrence appeared in court on crutches after undergoing a hip operation. His remorse and regret were evident, as he pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him. The court, acknowledging the family’s challenging circumstances and the immense trauma they had endured, sentenced Lawrence and Melanie to a suspended nine-month jail term, extending their support and understanding.