Fraudsters beware!

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BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

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The most recent was reported on Lawtel at the end of last month and is reported as: Havering Borough Council v (1) Mark Bowyer (2) James Jones (3) Richard Bowyer(2012).

In this claim the First and Second Defendant (Mark and James) had been walking home from a pub one evening when Mark fell from a wall and fractured his leg and ankle. An ambulance was called by James. The account given during the phone call and to the ambulance crew on arrival and A&E staff at the hospital was that he had fallen from the wall.

He later tried to bring a claim against Havering BC alleging that he fell in a pothole. They initially admitted liability. Mark's medical notes were then obtained for the medical expert to review and the inconsistency came to light. On the basis of this the admission was withdrawn.

He then issued his claim at court and verified court papers with a statement of truth to confirm that the accident happened when he fell in a pothole. Supporting witness statements were served from James and his father Richard to confirm his version of events. The claim was then later abandoned.

The Council then brought proceedings for contempt of court in that all three had knowingly issued, supported or persisted with a fraudulent claim. This charge (which is criminal and carries criminal sanctions of fine and imprisonment) was accepted by Mark and James but not by Richard.

Richard submitted that because he was not there on the night of the accident he had no direct knowledge of how the accident occurred. He based his evidence on what Mark and James had told him. He said he was shocked to discover that they had lied to him.

The Court found that although Richard had no previous convictions and was of good character, he was not credible. His evidence given in court did not accord with that in his statement.

The Court therefore found all three guilty of being in contempt of court.

Ruth Johnson

Solicitor - Personal Injury team

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