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Rugby training costs a man his freedom
ESPN Staff
June 27, 2013
David Ribchester arrives at the Old Bailey © Getty Images

A man from Washington in Tyne & Wear has been jailed for eight months after being convicted of falsely claiming almost £1 million in compensation ... and all because he went rugby training.

David Ribchester, 31, claimed £923,000 from insurers because he said he was unable to carry out the most basic of tasks including tying his shoelaces. He hurt both wrists in a workplace accident in 2006 and told doctors he could not carry out housework or drive. He was diagnosed with moderate post-traumatic stress disorder.

But insurers grew suspicious after his injuries appeared to be getting worse and referred his case to their in-house counter-fraud team who carried out surveillance

He was secretly filmed on a number of occasions in 2008 and 2009. Among footage was video of Ribchester in action at his local rugby club where he was seen to "grab the ball with both hands and go into a hard tackle". He was also filmed driving his car, carrying his daughter, building garden furniture and unloading heavy shopping bags.

Judge Nicholas Cooke at the Old Bailey in London told Ribchester it was "greed that has brought you to this and unfortunately there is a lot of greed out there. 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."

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