THEY splashed out on the romantic holiday of a lifetime to show their love for each other.

In a lavish ceremony, surrounded by witnesses, they renewed their wedding vows before lapping up the sunshine and all the trimmings of an exotic holiday in Egypt.

It was one of numerous fabulous holidays the pair have enjoyed across the world in recent years.

But in fact “shopaholic” Nicola Rogers and her husband Bryan were doing it at the expense of you – the taxpayer – having cheated the benefits system out of almost £70,000.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard how the couple, of Poplar Way, Ringwood, initially began claiming benefits legally, as both were off work.

However Mr Rogers, 48, then began to work again and an investigation by the Department of Work and Pensions and New Forest District Council revealed he was employed by three family-owned companies while continuing to claim.

Judge John Harrow heard that even while confined to her bed through illness, Mrs Rogers – now 44 – had continued to spend money.

Daily Echo:

At some points their undeclared income actually doubled what they received legitimately.

Mitigating, Richard Griffiths admitted that the prosecution had “painted rather a bleak picture” adding that when the false claims began Mrs Rogers was “really quite unwell”.

He told the court: “She was extremely overweight, which exacerbated her arthritis, and led to her being bedridden.”

Mrs Rogers’ condition improved when she had gastric band surgery, and over the next few years, the couple jetted around the world on holiday and spent money on scuba diving gear, a Range Rover and a series of sumptuous events, including birthday parties.

“Mrs Rogers has contact with counsellors who assist with spending problems,” Mr Griffiths said.

“It’s going to be a long, difficult road for her, but it is a road, and journey, she has started to take.”

Prosecutor Andrew Evans described how when investigators caught up with the couple Mrs Rogers pleaded poverty.

He told the court: “She said she’d had to buy herself a pair of jeans for just £3, when in fact had spent over £100 the previous week in Primark.”

As recently as January, Mrs Rogers had taken to Facebook to boast of a holiday at an exclusive ski resort in Mont Blanc.

Mrs Rogers pleaded guilty to obtaining money to transfer by deception and two counts of evasion of liability by deception, as well as a single count of fraud.

She was given a 14-month sentence.

Her husband admitted two counts of evasion of liability by deception and was jailed for nine months.