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Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company v Bashir and Ors, High Court, 28 February 2012

9 March 2012
The issues

Committal – road traffic accident – fraud

The facts

The respondents brought a claim for personal injury and damage to a car following a road traffic accident. The insurers believed that the claim was fraudulent and the collision contrived. The first two respondents were husband and wife, it was suggested to them that they in return for a fee had agreed to put forward a claim based on a contrived collision. The third and fourth respondents were the parents of the wife.

The decision

The respondents conduct struck at the heart of the civil justice system. It affected the public as whole because it increased the costs of insurance. There was no alternative but to impose custodial sentences. In mitigation the court accepted that the respondents had admitted the fraud and after the admission had willingly assisted the insurance company. The wife would have ordinarily been given a sentence well in excess of 12 months having lent her name to the proceedings but in view of the mitigating factors a reduction was appropriate and she would be ordered to serve six weeks imprisonment. The second respondent, the husband was also sentenced to six weeks imprisonment. A suspended sentence of six weeks was handed down to the wife’s parents bearing in mind their lesser involvement.

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