A man has been sentenced after CCTV caught him purposely banging his knee five times on a paving stone in order to make a fake injury claim against a housing association.
When submitting his claim, Malcolm Harrison, 41, of Cwrt Tarrell, Brecon, Powys, Wales, stated that a paving stone had cracked underfoot as he jogged back to his block of flats, causing him to fall over and injure his knee.
However, the housing association for the block of flats provided CCTV footage to its insurer, a subsidiary of Direct Line Group, showing that the initial crack in the paving stone did not cause any injury to Harrison when he jogged over it.
The CCTV shows him step on it to break it further and proceed to deliberately bang his knee five times on a nearby paving stone.
Harrison then spotted the CCTV camera, and at this point, he started to hop on one leg to try and show that he was injured.
The insurer sent a letter to Harrison, informing him that they were rejecting his claim and he was also provided with the CCTV footage.
Harrison disputed this decision and during his interview with officers from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), he continued to stand by his claim.
He said he tripped and fell just out of shot of the CCTV camera and denied deliberately banging his knee to inflict injuries on himself. He claimed that he was actually testing the other paving stones to prevent injury to other people.
Harrison had originally pleaded not guilty to one count of fraud by false representation and a trial was scheduled, but he later changed his plea to guilty. If his claim had been successful, he would have fraudulently gained £6,680.
The defendant was sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on 6 March to a two-year Community Order and 200 hours Community Service. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.
Detective Constable Joanne Farrell, who led the investigation for IFED, said: “Even after being shown the CCTV footage several times in interview, which clearly showed his claim was fraudulent, Harrison initially denied any wrongdoing, dishonestly telling police they were misinterpreting the footage. He then entered a not guilty plea at court, meaning the matter would have proceeded to trial at Crown Court.
“Eventually he saw sense and pleaded guilty before his trial began, and has been rightfully punished for trying to steal several thousand pounds from the insurer.”