Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Most Stupid Thing I Most Stupid Thing I Have Seen in a While

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Most Stupid Thing I Most Stupid Thing I Have Seen in a While

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Marsh Reporter

LEAPING into what looks like a deep pool of water, Stephen Robinson is exposed as a fraudster. The father-of-three is seen launching himself intothe floodwater as he messes around with pals.

But the laughs don't last long as the 30-year-old drags himself out of the shallow water with a broken ankle and ruptured tendons.

The injuries forced the selfemployed contractor out of employed contractor out of work.

And he tried to file an insur-ance claim against Newcastle ance claim against Newcastle city council - claiming a bro-ken drain caused his injuries as ken drain caused his injuries as he walked down the street near his home.

But when footage of the inci-dent emerged online, he was dent emerged online, he was snared by investigators.

And as he was about to stand trial at the city's Magistrates' Court Robinson, of Caroline Cottages in Slatyford, admitted making a false claim and plead-ed guilty to fraud.

Prosecuting, Stephen Davies Prosecuting, Stephen Davies said: "On July 23 last year New-castle City Council received a letter from Zurich saying they were taking up Stephen Robinson's claim for personal injury. The incident happened in Pooley Road in Slatyford. The road was flooded and Robinson said he got stuck in a metal drain which caused a fractured tibia and ruptured tendons."

Mr Davies said Zurich Insurance was chasing a PS17,115 pay-out for Robinson, until investigators were tipped off as to what really happened.

"As the council was negotiating his figure, information was received as to how Robinson in fact came about his injuries. A video was seen on YouTube and inquiries were undertaken. Further questions were put to him and he continued to blame the council. He refused to watch the video as he said it makes him feel sick."

Robinson dropped his head as the video - filmed by a bystander - was played in court. The incident happened during the Great Tyneside Flood of 2012.

Defending, John Wesencraft said Robinson had made no financial gain from the claim as it was stopped before any pay-out.

He also stated any cash his client would have received was nearer the PS10,000 mark.

"What he has always believed is that he had landed unharmed and as he came back toward the pavement he trapped his foot in the drain," added Mr Wesencraft. …

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