Gary Lucking has lost his claim for £120,000 damages from his local council after social media posts undermined his claims he had been seriously injured by hitting a manhole
A cyclist who claimed he was badly injured hitting a manhole and should get a huge taxpayer-funded compensation payout has lost his case after social media posts showed him taking part in a Tough Mudder race.
Gary Lucking claimed he suffered a serious fracture and lost strength in his elbow after hitting an exposed manhole in Middlewich, Cheshire, which has since left him in ‘constant pain’.
But investigators found his social media posts boasting he had taken part in a 75 mile charity bike ride to Blackpool and run a ‘hardcore’ 10 mile ‘Tough Mudder’ race.
A judge has now thrown out his claim for £140,000 compensation from his local council, branding his evidence ‘unreliable, implausible and inconsistent’.
The 44-year-old launched the six-figure damages claim against Cheshire East Council, alleging their negligence had caused injuries that meant he could no longer enjoy his favourite pastime.
Lucking has been ordered to pay the council’s legal costs after the case fell apart this month
Lucking said he had been forced to give up cycling and sell his bike after hitting an exposed manhole in Middlewich, Cheshire, early in the morning of January 20, 2014.
He initially tried to sue the council for the six-figure sum, however this was challenged by the council’s lawyers at an earlier hearing and reduced to a maximum of £20,000 for legal reasons.
But further investigations found his social media pages were full of his exploits which as well the a charity ride to Blackpool, and mud race showed him circuit training, weight-lifting and rowing.
But Deputy District Judge Peter Causton said his credibility had been ‘shot to pieces’ by the social media evidence.
He made findings of fundamental dishonesty and ordered Lucking to pay the council’s costs, which are yet to be determined.
A judge said social media posts about him taking part in a Tough Mudder race (pictured in file photo) undermined his claims of injury
After the case Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: ‘This was a blatant attempt to defraud the council and the borough’s taxpayers with a bogus claim for an accident that was in no way connected with the authority or any defect in the road.
‘I agree with our legal representatives, Weightmans LLP, who stated the claim was fraudulent to the core. This case was an example of how local authorities faced significant fraud challenges.
‘I would like to pay tribute to the two members of the public whose honesty and evidence in court enabled the council to challenge this cynical claim.
‘We, like all local authorities, are required to protect public funds and this sends out the message that we will challenge claims that we feel are fraudulent.’