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Fake pothole injury man caught running marathon

By Thomas Parkes | Bloxwich | Crime | Published:

A man who exaggerated an ankle injury after tripping on a pothole in a bid to claim thousands of pounds from a council has been handed a suspended sentence.

A stock photo of a pothole

Nicholas McDaid brought a claim against Walsall Council after suffering the injury in 2013 while walking his dogs.

McDaid said the injury had left him with ligament and soft tissue damage to his ankle which meant he was unable to work.

It resulted in Walsall Council forking out an interim payment £12,000 for an operation in 2013, before a medical expert reviewed the medical file in 2018.

But investigations carried out by the council five years later found the 35-year-old had been dishonest.

He had in fact taken part in Iron Man triathlons, full and half marathons, cycling challenges and rugby, with some of the activities uploaded to a personal fitness app.

The personal injury claim was ultimately dismissed in May 2018 over his dishonesty, which McDaid appealed against – arguing he had not been "fundamentally" dishonest.

It was rejected by Birmingham County Court, with Walsall Council pursuing a private prosecution for contempt of court.

An earlier ruling in 2018 ordered the defendant to repay the payment to the council, which has since been received.

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McDaid, of Bloxwich, was sentenced two months in prison suspended for 12 months at a High Court hearing.

He was ordered to pay Walsall Council's prosecution costs and his own legal fees.

Leader of Walsall Council Councillor Mike Bird said the cost of the bills could have cost the council more than £200,000

Councillor Bird said: "Anybody who tries to claim money from Walsall taxpayers by giving a dishonest and exaggerated account of their injuries will see their day in court.

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"It is wrong – pure and simple. It also takes money from the public purse and away from important services in Walsall.

"We always scrutinise any claim that could be fundamentally dishonest, so I’m surprised that this individual thought we wouldn’t properly investigate his alleged injuries, especially when he was so visible in his sporting activities.

"Let his hefty fees and a criminal record - be a reminder that Walsall Council will pursue and prosecute anyone who tries to wildly exaggerate a personal injury claim in this way."

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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