A couple accused of being ‘food bug fraudsters’ claim they face losing their home after the hotel launched a £170,000 counter-claim for damages.

Sean and Caroline Bondarenko allegedly fabricated a £10,000 claim against the five-star Caldera Palace Hotel in Crete after saying the resort’s food and drink made them ill.

Sean Bondarenko and his wife face losing their home through the counter-claim

Sean Bondarenko and his wife face losing their home through the counter-claim

The couple from Darlington, County Durham, claim they were been encouraged to bring the case by a claims management company.

Court documents show the Crete hotel has made a counter-claim, saying the couple ‘consumed large quantities of alcohol’ when they were supposed to have been sick.

Atlantica Hotel Management Ltd say the couple did not report any illness during their one-week stay in October 2013, and did not make their bid for compensation until three years later.

The hotel chain says it has a dossier of Facebook posts which demonstrate the Bondarenkos enjoyed their stay. It is thought to be the first time holidaymakers have been taken to court accused of making a fake sickness claim.