A factory worker who claimed he would be unable to work for 10 years after an injury has been jailed after he was spotted behind the counter of a fish and chip shop.
Amar Masud, 44, slipped a disc in his spine as he lifted a heavy table at the furniture factory he worked at in 2013.
He quit his job and went on to sue his employers for £250,000 claiming he would be out of work ‘for at least 10 years’.
But when investigators followed him they saw him working at a fish and chip shop near his home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and his case was thrown out.
Masud was arrested on suspicion of contempt of court and after being found guilty was today sentenced to a year and four months in prison.
The original case at London’s High Court heard Masud’s accident, which left him genuinely injured, happened at work in 2013.
But his contempt hearing was told he exaggerated the effects of his injury, claiming he was unable to earn a living and had been left badly disabled.
He was filmed driving in 2014 and working in 2015 – despite claiming he was unable to do either activity.
Sentencing him in his absence today, Judge Peter Blair QC said: ‘In his statement of truth he says, ‘I cannot think of what work I will be able to do in future if, as seems to be the case, my current symptoms remain’.
‘During the course of surveillance, he was seen working behind the counter of a food takeaway shop.
‘I am completely satisfied that his answer in the statement of truth is completely false and that he lied to the court.
‘It is plain that he walked and moved around without difficulty. He is seen to crouch down on his haunches, bend down and lean over doing washing up and move with apparent ease, which is utterly at odds with his demeanour whenever examined by a consultant at hospital.’
Masud had also sworn he was ‘unlikely to be able to work in the 10 years following the accident’, said the judge, adding: ‘That was another lie, proved by the surveillance observation of him.’
The judge said Masud had suffered a genuine injury but exaggerated its effect on his ability to work.
He added: ‘He feigns his disability when he thinks he is, or might be, observed.
‘When he doesn’t think he is observed, he has really quite a good range of movement. He was making up a large part of his disability.
‘He said in his statement of truth: ‘I do not drive my car anymore because of my injuries.
‘I have no hesitation whatsoever in coming to the conclusion that this defendant deliberately lied to the court for financial gain and has not put forward any explanation or apology for it.
‘I have come to the conclusion that I should commit him to prison. It is not in my view appropriate to suspend such an order.
‘I commit him to custody for a period of 16 months, as a result of his proved contempt of court.’