A man awarded £238,000 after allegedly breaking his ankle in a council pothole may have to return his compensation after an investigation by Zurich.

Gary Prentice, of Burwell, won the cash from East Cambridgeshire District Council in 1999, but was foiled after several of his neighbours told the council he lied about the cause of his accident.

Council insurer Zurich Municipal then appointed its specialist investigation unit to look into the case.

Last week, the council had the award overturned at the Court of Appeal, which ordered the case to be reheard to decide if Prentice “wilfully deceived” the previous hearing.

The court has also frozen all his assets and ordered him not to sell his house, which he bought with £150,000 of his payout.

A spokesman for the council said Prentice had claimed to have broken his ankle falling into a pothole in a roadside verge.

But neighbours claimed he broke it while playing football with his son.

The council spokesman added that Prentice had quit his job as a forklift driver after the accident and was now deemed severely disabled, having had several operations to repair the break.

He said the council was now waiting for the second hearing date to be set and for “justice to be done”.

A Zurich Municipal spokesman said: “We're delighted to pay legitimate claims as quickly, efficiently and fairly as possible, but every so often you get something that doesn't seem right and we will follow it up.”