Man jailed over £923k injury fraud

David RibchesterA man has been jailed for eight months after he was caught playing rugby while making a £923,000 claim for wrist injuries.

The Old Bailey heard David Ribchester, 31, was secretly filmed at his local rugby club where he was "seen to grab the ball with both hands and go into a hard tackle" despite claiming he was unable to carry out the most basic of tasks and even tie his shoelaces.
%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Ribchester, who exaggerated the injuries he received to his hands and wrists in a workplace accident in February 2006, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at the court last month.

Sentencing him, Judge Nicholas Cooke told him: "David Ribchester, it is greed that has brought you to this and unfortunately there is a lot of greed out there. Genuinely injured people putting forward wholly honest claims are viewed sceptically because of the publicity in relation to this sort of matter."
The court heard Ribchester told doctors he needed help with his personal care including getting in and out of the bath and that he could not open jars, carry out housework, play the drums or drive his car. He also conned psychiatrists into thinking he was emotionally scarred by the accident and was diagnosed with moderate post-traumatic stress disorder and with showing features of a major depressive disorder. He even told them he felt like he was not a proper father as he could not pick his young daughter up.

But insurers began to suspect him after his injuries seemed to be getting worse over time, and referred him to their in-house counter fraud team who carried out surveillance. Between February 2008 and October 2009, he was filmed on a number of occasions driving his car, carrying his daughter, constructing garden furniture, pushing a trolley, and loading and unloading heavy shopping bags.

Prosecutor James Byrne told the court that on October 10, 2009 Ribchester was filmed watching rugby at the club, before being seen taking part in non-contact training the next day. Then on October 24, he was filmed joining in training once again where he was seen to tackle another player.

The court heard Ribchester had genuinely injured soft tissue damage to both wrists after he fell around 5ft to the ground when a ladder came away from a refrigerated HGV lorry owned by Schmitz Cargobull in Durham.

Mr Byrne said Ribchester's claims were then laid out, which included £24,175 for childcare and £19,382 for future childcare, while he expected £321,901 for future nursing costs for himself along with £89,253 future expenses. The court heard the defendant later settled for just £50,000 but was then arrested on April 3 this year.

In mitigation Flavia Kenyon, defending Ribchester, said he was a hard-working family man of previous good character who had never offended before. Ribchester, of the John F Kennedy estate, Washington, Tyne and Wear, showed no emotion as the sentence was passed.

Top Ten Weirdest Holiday Home Insurance Claims
See Gallery
Man jailed over £923k injury fraud

The owner of a holiday home in Spain returned to inspect his property after he had let it to a group of young people in their 20s for two weeks, to find that they had created an indoor beach including sand and water to emulate the sea. The youngsters explained that the local beach “hadn’t lived up to their expectations”.

A slightly oblivious swan didn’t see what was coming his way. It was flying happily through the air, completely unaware of a set of high voltage power cables in its flight path which it duly hit. The swan had the shock of its life and dived straight for the roof of a holiday home underneath, crashing through the roof and leaving a massive hole in need of fixing.

At a holiday home in France, a cow walked over a swimming pool cover. As the cow was considerably heavier than the cover could hold, the cover broke and the unsuspecting cow took an involuntary dip in the pool; resulting in considerable damage to the pool and the need for a winch to rescue the distraught bovine.

Holiday guests staying in a Spanish property moved items of furniture from inside the holiday home they were renting, including a sofa, single bed and chest of drawers, into the shallow end of the swimming pool. The guests had been under the influence of alcohol when they’d decided to rearrange the furniture in such a way and claimed they "couldn’t remember" why they had done it.

A particularly passionate couple managed to not only badly scratch the wooden floor of their bedroom by causing the bed to move vehemently, but also caused the bed to break, as well as the bedside lamp and bedside table. The couple explained that all damage had been caused during one session of lovemaking and they apologised profusely.

Following a rental, a holiday home owner made a gory discovery; he found blood splattered all over carpets and walls. After further investigation, he discovered a makeshift cardboard coffin containing a pig’s head in the bin, suggesting that a sacrifice had taken place at his property.

A young couple tried to pursue a claim against the owner of their holiday apartment in Spain on the basis that both bed sheets and towels were "too hard" and caused scratches and irritations on the skin, which prevented them from using the pool and sunbathing comfortably.

A holiday cottage in Devon needed completely redecorating after the holiday guests had decided to have an indoor barbecue on the flagstone floor, as ‘the weather didn’t allow for having it outside’.

One unsuspecting holiday property owner in Italy was shocked to find out that his house had been turned into a brothel by his guests during a four week rental period, resulting in the need for a deep clean and replacement of soft furnishings.

A lady in her late 30s from Manchester sought compensation from the owner of her holiday home in Marbella as the gravel on the driveway "had wrecked" four pairs of her designer stilettos and forced her to replace them with new ones.

Read Full Story