Fraudulent insurance bid is rumbled after social media search
A 21-year-old falsely claimed he was driving his car when it crashed at a retail park – but was soon caught out on social networking site Facebook.
Kristian Wall, of Grace Road, Ellesmere Port, did it because his friend who was driving the vehicle did not have insurance and the following day made a false £6,000 claim on his own insurance.
But the truth came out when the other driver involved in the collision looked up Wall on Facebook and saw the real driver was a Facebook friend. He was able to identify the correct driver to the police.
At Mold Crown Court last week Wall, who admitted fraud and perverting the course of justice was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years.
He was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and was placed on a two-month tagged curfew to ensure he remains indoors between 6.30pm and 6am.
Judge Niclas Parry told him what he had done was doubly serious. It struck at the heart of the administration of justice and had frustrated the detection of crime. Then he had made a fraudulent insurance claim which had a direct effect on the public. False insurance claims had become an epidemic, he said.
“It is the public which picks up the tab.”
Wall, the judge said, had claimed that he had acted in shock.
But he had made the insurance claim the day after the accident in which he was not even involved.
Judge Parry said that the defendant was making up the financial loss, he had made early admissions and pleaded guilty and he had no previous convictions.
References spoke highly of him.
“If it is ever possible I am prepared to give young men who have led decent lives a chance,” he said.
He had decided to impose a suspended sentence.
Owen Edwards, prosecuting, said that at 9.30pm on January 22 a man was driving in Broughton Retail Park when he was struck by a Ford Focus.
A crowd gathered, the driver admitted responsibility, and they waited for the police to arrive.
But when officers arrived Wall who owned the car, claimed he was the driver.
He tested negative when given a breathtest and the officer went through the accident form with him.
The other driver was puzzled why the police officer was spending so much time with the defendant rather than the actual driver. When he asked the police officer about it, an investigation was started.
Rather enterprisingly, the other driver looked up the defendant on Facebook and saw the actual driver was a Facebook friend of his.
He was able to give police his identity.
The insurance company had paid out £5,400 to the defendant, with a £600 insurance access.
Interviewed, Wall said that he and friends had a “meet” where they admired each other’s cars.
A friend drove his car off and promptly crashed it, and he claimed to be the driver because he knew his friend had no insurance.
Robin Boag, defending, handed in references from his former employer at Toyota and from the sea cadets.
The defendant had been a member of the cadets for years, he said.
Mr Boag said that he would not mitigate further when the judge indicated that he was prepared to give Wall a chance.