A semi-professional footballer has received a suspended prison sentence after faking a whiplash injury claim.

Gary Burnett, 25, who played for Northwich Victoria, believed that his fraudulent claim would not be discovered.

However, after his Twitter account was found to detail accounts of him playing football, motor insurers started to investigate the accident claim.

Mr Burnett from Cheshire was later found in contempt of court for filing a false personal injury claim.

Mr Burnett tried to claim personal injury compensation for an accident he was involved in at McDonald’s drive-thru at Birkenhead in October 2013, it was claimed that the day after the incident he posted comments on his Twitter about his involvement on a football match.

Three weeks after the accident he posted a Tweet about scoring in FA Trophy. Speaking at the court hearing he claimed that although he exaggerated the severity of the injury, he had suffered whiplash injuries.

Mr Burnett has been ordered to pay car insurer Aviva £11,000 after his claims were found to be dishonest and a further £500 in costs.

Aviva’s director of casualty claims Richard Hiscocks said: “This judgement demonstrates that faking an injury claim is a crime and will be dealt with accordingly. The message from the Attorney General’s Office is clear that they won’t tolerate this kind of contempt for which Burnett is now paying the penalty.”

Mr Burnett has been sentenced to four month term suspended for twelve months on Friday.