'ME sufferer' caught out by sports car YouTube videos
An insurance cheat who claimed to have chronic fatigue was caught out by social media postings about his passion for racing sports cars, the High Court has heard.
Christopher Parkin, 41, claimed he could not work between August 2007 and September 2012 and was living with his parents in Badsworth, West Yorkshire.
But in many of his posts, the steelwork draughtsman said he lived in Cyprus.
Judge Richard Seymour said Parkin had told "a load of lies".
Barrister Peter Hamilton said 1,000 pages of postings revealed an active man who was addicted to his hobby of modifying his Noble supercars and driving them fast both on the roads and racetracks of Cyprus.
The judge ordered him to repay £19,096 he fraudulently obtained under an income protection insurance policy from the Cirencester Friendly Society Ltd - plus interest and an interim payment of £200,000 towards a £350,000 costs bill.
You Tube videos
In August 2007, Parkin made a claim on the basis that he could not work because of Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME).
It was rejected, but his complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service was upheld in September 2010, resulting in the £19,096 payment.
Parkin then made another claim, this time feigning chronic fatigue syndrome.
Again its was upheld by the Ombudsman after an initial rejection.
But the company did not accept the decision or make any payment and, in March 2013, began court action and an investigation into Parkin.
Judge Seymour concluded that in the face of all the evidence - including witness testimonies, internet posts and You Tube videos of Parkin in action in the cars- the case had been abundantly proved.
He added that Parkin "like so many people nowadays - particularly those who seem minded to perpetrate frauds... seemed incapable of keeping off the internet and sharing the true nature of his activities through social media".