Duff McKagan wannabe faces jail over £300,000 fraud

An image showing Anthony Dermody as Duff McKagan, on stage with Guns Or Roses
Anthony Dermody as Duff McKagan, on stage with Guns Or Roses

A Duff McKagan wannabe faces a jail term after his claim for £300,000 in compensation was exposed as fraudulent.

Anthony James Dermody, 28, plays bass in Manchester-based GNR tribute act Guns Or Roses and is also a former rail worker. He styles himself on real GNR bassist Duff McKagan.

He claimed £300,000 in compensation from Network Rail, saying he suffered disabling thumb injuries while at work.

But when his claim was exposed as a fraud by a video showing him performing with Guns Or Roses, he dropped the case. Dermody, from Altrincham, now faces a charge of contempt of court.

The Manchester Evening News reports that Dermody’s mother Ann Marie could also be charged after Network Rail accused her of backing up her son’s claim in a sworn statement.

The High Court heard that Dermody did suffer an injury in a 2011 accident at work, with his right thumb being crushed. Network Rail admitted liability and Dermody told his lawyers to seek £300,000 in compensation on the grounds that his life had been badly affected.

But the video of him playing with Guns Or Roses made a mockery of his claim.

William Featherby QC, representing Network Rail, said: “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. He now claims he has developed a new technique for playing the guitar which places no strain on his thumb.”

Ruling that there are grounds to pursue contempt of court proceedings against Dermody and his mother, Mr Justice Edis said: “There is a strong prima facie case that Mr Dermody did consciously exaggerate his claim in order to increase the damages that he hoped to receive.

“The evidence before the court is capable of showing that he was functioning relatively normally as the bass guitarist in a heavy metal rock group which travelled substantial distances in order to put on its performances.

“That is inconsistent with his presentation of his case.”

A date for the hearing has not yet been set, but both could face up to two years in jail if found guilty.

TeamRock have asked Guns Or Roses for comment.

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Stef wrote close to 5000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.