Insurance lies put footballer behind bars

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A FOOTBALL player has been jailed for a year after he netted a £1.35 million insurance payout for injuries received in a car crash, despite being fit enough to turn out for his club.

Edlington Rangers club captain James Shikell was a passenger in a car accident in 2002 and three years later was awarded the personal injury claim by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Shikell, a midfielder who has played nine games for Rangers this season, claimed in December 2005 he suffered memory loss, severe fatigue, poor co-ordination and an aching neck and ankles.

He was found out in 2008 when investigators filmed him playing a 90-minute game and discovered he had played every match that season.

Shikell was jailed for 12 months for contempt of court.

His father, Robert Shikell, received a year’s imprisonment for supporting his son’s claim.

A third man, Simon Fennell, was fined for providing a false statement in the personal injury claim.

Judge Penelope Belcher, presiding at Leeds District Magistrates’ Court, found Shikell guilty of 14 of the 16 counts against him. She said she was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that the only explanation for him telling the lie was to increase the likely award of damages in the personal injury claim.