A rail worker who claimed £300k compensation over an injured thumb was busted by footage of him playing in a Guns N’ Roses tribute band, a court heard. It was a case of Welcome to the Bungle after Anthony James Dermody was filmed rocking out – despite insisting he had been left “crippled” by an accident while employed by Network Rail. Now Dermody, 28, could face jail if he is found to have exaggerated his claims to win the payout, the High Court heard.
But the red-faced wannabe rockstar – who performed on stage as G N’ R bassist Duff McKagan – has swiftly dropped his claim after learning “he was under investigation”.
And the alleged fraudster’s mum – who he lives with and is “one of his biggest fans” – could also be banged up for backing her son’s claims.
Dermody continued to play bass in tribute act Guns or Roses, described as a “very energetic heavy metal band”.
The court heard he did actually have an accident at work in 2011, which left him with a crushed thumb.
Network Rail admitted liability – but launched a probe when Dermody demanded £300,000 after telling docs he was “very seriously disabled”.
William Featherby QC, for Network Rail, told the court: “This is a claimant who said he suffered a very serious injury to his right thumb – which incidentally is his guitar playing thumb.
“For many years afterwards, and still, he plays bass guitar in a very energetic heavy metal band, known as Guns or Roses, who are of course a covers band of Guns n’ Roses.”
“We say that the claim was largely fraudulent…he was an active and busy member of a heavy metal rock group.”
The ex-rail worker and his mother did not attend the hearing but are set to defend themselves.
“He now claims he has developed a new technique for playing the guitar which places no strain on his thumb,” said the QC, adding: “His mother supported his case and put in a witness statement in his support.
“She is on Guns or Roses’ website as one of his biggest fans, so she knew all about his activities.”