Tyne & Wear

David Ribchester jailed for insurance fraud claim

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionRibchester was caught driving and at rugby training by insurance investigators

A man who falsely claimed nearly £1m in compensation has been jailed for eight months.

David Ribchester, from Washington in Tyne and Wear, said wrist injuries stopped him from driving, claiming £923,000 from insurers.

But he was caught driving and at rugby training by insurance investigators.

The 31-year-old, who previously admitted fraud by false representation, was sentenced at the Old Bailey in London earlier.

Ribchester hurt both wrists in a workplace accident in County Durham in February 2006.

Building garden furniture

The court heard he told doctors he needed help with his personal care including getting in and out of the bath and that he could not carry out housework or drive his car.

Ribchester, of the John F Kennedy Estate, also told psychiatrists he was "emotionally scarred" by the accident and was diagnosed with moderate post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said he felt like he was "not a proper father" as he could not pick his young daughter up.

Image caption David Ribchester was caught driving his car, carrying his daughter and unloading heavy shopping bags

Judge Nicholas Cooke said it was "greed" that had inspired Ribchester.

He said: "Genuinely injured people putting forward wholly honest claims are viewed sceptically because of the publicity in relation to this sort of matter.

"Anyone who is tempted to behave in a dishonest way to the extent that you did by attempting to exploit a system which exists to compensate the genuinely injured will end up going to prison."

Ribchester was secretly filmed by insurance investigators on a number of occasions between February 2008 and October 2009.

He was 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 tie his shoelaces.

He was also caught driving his car, carrying his daughter, constructing garden furniture and unloading heavy shopping bags.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites