If you’re going to be a benefits cheat, the number one rule should really be, don’t expose yourself and get caught.
And especially don’t do it by doing any extreme sports on television…
Benefits fraudster, Noreen Murray, clearly didn’t get the message though – making the rookie error in a particularly outrageous style.
And when we say ‘outrageous’ we of course mean bungee jumping on Channel 4‘s show, Coach Trip.
31-year-old Murray, from Salford, attempted to get a payout from her bosses after claiming a work injury left her ‘barely able to walk’.
The cleaner claimed she suffered the severe back injury while lifting a heavy bag or laundry.
She also added she was bed-bound for two days and was unable to walk or stand for more than 30 minutes.
Claiming more than £21,475 in damages from insurers for loss of earnings and general damages, the mother-of-two’s fraud quickly unravelled when it was discovered she filmed the Channel 4 programme only four days after the day she claimed to have suffered the injury.
Filming over a fortnight in Valenica, Spain, Murray very clearly bungee jumped off a bridge for everyone to see.
After completing the jump, she was filmed saying it was ‘the best thing I’ve ever done’.
Bet she regrets saying those words now!
According to prosecutor Iain Simkin, the fraud took place between February and March 2015, while Murray was working at the Blue Rainbow Apartments and Aparthotel in Manchester city centre.
When the programme screened, an investigation began with Murray’s lawyers offering the insurers an out of court settlement of £6,500.
However, Murray received no money and was instead jailed for 10 months, suspended for two years, after she admitted fraud by false representation at Manchester’s Crown Court.
According to The Sun, it’s been reported the cost of hiring lawyers and doctors during the investigation was ‘substantial’.
Prosecuting, Iain Simkin told the court Murray told her manager she had to go home for a meeting after the injury but never returned, instead, deciding to stay at home.
Although she was diagnosed with soft tissue damage to her lower back, Murray conjured up ‘false evidence’ about her injury.
She knew of this and wanted to make money from it, or that she did in fact hurt herself slightly and played on this to make a gain for herself.
She had never complained at work. She had never told anyone she had a bad back or anything like that, she just made this claim without telling her managers.
In my submission, this was planned. The medics weren’t to know this was a false claim.
The injuries could have stemmed from the work but she didn’t complain about it.
In application for the show, Murray wrote she was in ‘robust health’ and was able to take part in ‘any physical activity’.
Her lawyer, Michael Balmer, added:
She does have a bad back, previously stemming from an earlier injury and she does have health issues and she is the mother of young children.
One thing she is not though, is a bright spark!
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.