A BRITISH lottery winner who claimed thousands of euros in benefits while enjoying a luxury lifestyle in Spain has avoided jail.
Lawrence Candlish, 38, became one of the top 100 richest young people in the UK when he scooped €7 million in 1997.
He subsequently moved to Spain where he bought a Newcastle United-themed villa and a restaurant, while dividing up his fortune among his family.
But despite the factory worker enjoying the high life, he continued to fraudulently claim €16,600 in disability living allowance in the UK.
Candlish lived in Santa Pola, Alicante, where he renamed his villa Casa Shearer, after former England player, Alan Shearer and bought an Irish-themed bar and restaurant.
But Newcastle Crown Court heard he returned to the UK penniless following the bankruptcy of his business.
Candlish received a nine month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, while his sister Melanie Batey, a 39-year-old office clerk who moved to Spain to be with him, was also spared prison after claiming €25,000 in benefits she did not qualify for.