A fraudster was this week sent to prison for 4 months after a judge jailed him for attempting to defraud Co-op Insurance out of thousands of pounds.
Paul Christopher Johnson was sentenced at the High Court after being found guilty of contempt.
In CIS General Insurance Limited v Mr Paul Christopher Johnson, Her Honour Mrs Justice Cutts, deemed the offences so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence could be justified. Mr Johnson had been found guilty of the offences at an earlier hearing.
Mr Johnson had previously brought a claim for personal injury and associated losses against Co-op Insurance and its insured following an accident on 1st September 2012. The claim included the sum of £85,000.00 for alleged lost earnings purportedly incurred as a result of Mr Johnson being unable to complete a software development contract by reason of the accident and his injuries.
Plexus Law, assisted by Mr Timothy Sharpe of Temple Garden Chambers, obtained an order striking out Mr Johnson’s claim on the basis of s57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, it being found that the claim for lost earnings was fundamentally dishonest and entirely fabricated.
Following the strike out Plexus Law were subsequently instructed to bring proceedings on behalf of the Co-op Insurance for contempt of court on the basis of Mr Johnson making false statements in documents verified by a statement of truth.
It was alleged that Mr Johnson had interfered with the due administration of justice in that he verified statements of truth on court documents that were:
- untrue in such a way that the untruth interfered with the course of justice in a material respect; and
- made in his full knowledge that they were untrue.
In the original judgment and upon finding the contempt proved to the criminal standard, Her Honour Judge Walden-Smith described Mr Johnson’s conduct as a serious contempt compounded by the fact that he told further untruths in a bid to cover up his attempted deceit.
Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Cutts described Mr Johnson as ‘greedy’ and explained that the court took a very serious view of his behaviour which sought to undermine the due administration of justice.
Ian Kershaw, Head of Claims at Co-op Insurance said:
“Fraudulent claims have an impact on all motorists who see their premiums rise as a result of them.
It simply isn’t fair for honest law-abiding motorists to be impacted in this way and we hope that the action we’ve taken acts as a deterrent to other potential fraudsters
Fraudulent claims are not a victimless crime and as a member-owned insurer we are keen to ensure that we are protecting the interests of our members and customers by taking proactive action against them.”
If you would like to know more about this Case Alert please contact:
Kevin Perkins, Partner
T: 01422 394 251 | M: 07890 590 187 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean Clough | G1 G Mill | Halifax | HX3 5AX