'Scared of heights' injury claimant filmed on Europe's biggest waterslide
A bodybuilder who claimed an accident left him scared of heights was exposed when a video emerged of him careering down Europe's highest waterslide.
Ben Bardsley, 38, of Stockport, Greater Manchester made a personal injury claim after falling into a pond in 2015.
He said it left him with a fear of heights and unable to lift weights.
His case was dismissed as "nonsense" at Manchester County Court after footage was shown of him being propelled 108ft (33m) down the Verti-Go in Spain.
The gym owner had brought a claim against Warrington Koi and Aquatics which was digging a pond in his garden in July 2015.
As he inspected the work, Mr Bardsley was struck by the bucket of the digger and knocked into the pond.
The court heard he claimed in medical evidence he fell with his arms outstretched, which caused injuries to his neck and back and left him unable to lift weights and caused an anxiety of heights.
But insurance company Aviva, which acted for the pond supplier, was suspicious and instructed lawyers to investigate further.
The probe uncovered an array of posts on social media showing him lifting large weights after the date of his fall.
Mr Bardsley also posted a video of himself grinning as he enters a capsule on the Verti-Go slide in Benidorm which descends at more than 62mph (100kph) in just three seconds.
He is also seen laughing and flexing his muscles in front of a group of children as he leaves the ride.
Dismissing his claim on 23 January, Recorder Richard Hartley QC said the idea that someone going down such a slide would struggle with heights was "nonsense" and ruled he was guilty of "fundamental dishonesty in respect of his claim".
Damian Rourke of Clyde & Co, representing Aviva, said the claimant's damages were estimated at about £4,500 but by "exaggerating" his injuries to four to five times the actual amount "he lost everything".
He was ordered to pay £14,000 in legal costs.