An Ashburton man has been
sentenced to home detention after pretending to be
wheelchair-bound to keep his ACC cover.
Leslie Tamateatu Urquhart-Barrett, 55, was charged with
fraudulently receiving ACC assistance after turning up to
medical appointments in a wheelchair despite being seen
driving and walking unaided during his everyday activities,
Christchurch District Court was told.
He was sentenced this week to seven months' home detention
and ordered to pay $4031.21 reparation.
The court was told the truck driver injured his back and
shoulder in a workplace accident in 2006 and received weekly
compensation from ACC until August 2010.
After complaining of mobility restrictions in 2008, he
underwent surgery, and received home help and the use of a
He continued to give ACC medical certificates stating that he
was unfit for work.
Growing concerns from Urquhart-Barrett's case manager led to
an investigation in 2010, during which Urquhart-Barrett was
seen driving his car and walking unaided, although he
continued to use his wheelchair at medical appointments.
ACC's general manager of claims management Sid Miller said it
was disappointing when people abused the ACC scheme for
"ACC collects levies to help people with genuine
injury-related needs. Mr Urquhart-Barrett's offending
therefore amounts to theft from honest, hard-working New
Zealanders," he said.
ACC has a dedicated investigations unit, which follows up all
tip-offs received about possible fraud.