An attempt by a Wakefield man to con his local council into compensating him with taxpayers’ money for a finger injury has landed him with a fine and a long community sentence.
Kyle David Denton, 27, made a bogus civil claim against Wakefield Council saying he had sustained the damage by falling on a pothole. Subsequent investigations exposed a post by Denton on his Facebook account which stated that he had actually broken his right ring finger by hitting another man.
Denton even went so far as to meet with council staff to show them the spot where he had allegedly fallen.
A hearing at Wakefield Magistrates Court this week heard how Denton’s account became suspicious following the meeting about the authenticity of the claim.
He was traced and his public Facebook account was accessed, where Denton had posted a picture of his broken finger.
Angus MacDonald, prosecuting, said: “Rather than injuring it in a fall, he had sustained it assaulting a man.
“The defendant stated on the (conversation) thread that it had happened ‘cracking someone’.”
Denton, of Lupset, West Yorkshire, who had submitted a personal injury claim in November 2012, dropped the allegation and his solicitor stated he would no longer be taking action against the council.
Mr MacDonald added: “No payment was made. The claim was at such an early stage. It’s only through the vigilance of the council and their employees that the suspicious nature of this came to light.”
Magistrate Julian Garthwaite told Denton, who admitted fraud: “You falsely claimed and stuck with that line you had fallen down a pothole to get money from the council.
“You now at the 11th hour have pleaded guilty and said that was incorrect and a bundle of lies.”
Denton was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid community work. He must pay £250 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Councillor Graham Stokes, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for corporate performance, said: “We are pleased with the outcome of this case as fraudulent claims can cost the Council valuable time and money in already very challenging financial times.
“False claims will not be tolerated and our insurers and claim handlers are well trained to ensure that public money is not wasted in this way.”
Fraudulent personal injury claims are recognised by the Government as being a problem and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling announced a major crackdown on insurance fraudsters and dishonest claims in June.