The Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal yesterday upheld a 15-month prison sentence for a personal injury fraudster involved in a staged accident. 

The Defendant had been a member of a gang carrying out multiple staged RTAs claiming modest sums for alleged whiplash injuries.  The ringleader had already been sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment for the wider conspiracy.  This case involved just one staged accident and the Defendant appealed on the basis that it should be treated as an isolated incident. 

The CA were having none of that and have made clear that these frauds are not victimless crimes – they cost the insurance industry millions and add an estimated £50 to a standard motor policy premium.  A deterrent sentence was called for.

This may not be groundbreaking but it adds another voice to the chorus demanding tougher action against those who dishonestly seek to manipulate the relatively generous scheme operated by the motor insurance sector for modest whiplash cases which are difficult to scrutinize.

See: R v McKenzie LTL 21/8/2013 (CA Crim Div)