Man jailed after judges conclude he exaggerated back injury to claim compensation
Published 14/12/2012 | 17:28
A FORMER aircraft technician was today jailed after senior judges concluded that he had exaggerated a back injury in an attempt to claim compensation.
Adam Roberts, who is in his early 30s and comes from Neston, Cheshire, was given a six-month term after he was found to be in contempt of court.
Two judges sitting at the High Court in London said Mr Roberts had tried to secure "substantial" damages to which he was not entitled.
The court was told that insurance investigators had filmed Mr Roberts helping to clear a house five weeks before he signed a statement saying he could "only walk short distances" and had to use two crutches.
Judges heard that Mr Roberts had been filmed carrying building materials from the house in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, and putting them in a skip.
He had been seen carrying "a wash basin, a lavatory, a cabinet containing an electric bar heater, a bathroom wall cabinet and several bags full of some kind of rubbish"; picking up a cabinet and ramming it "repeatedly and forcefully" on the edge of the skip; carrying a roll of carpet then throwing it over his shoulder and on to the skip.
Mr Roberts was moving without any apparent difficulty "despite the absence of a crutch", the court was told.
"On the 24th of July 2011 Mr Roberts signed a witness statement," said Lord Justice Moore-Bick, who had heard evidence with Mr Justice Cranston.
"He said he could only walk short distances; he had to use two crutches, although at times he could manage with one ... he was in constant pain."
Lord Justice Moore-Bick added: "On the evidence of the video recording, however, it is clear to us that in July 2011 Mr Roberts was not significantly disabled and his condition was not as he described it."
The judge went on: "Had it not been for the surveillance evidence, it is very likely that the statement, supported by what he had told the doctors, would have led to his being awarded a substantial sum in damages to which he was not entitled."