The Claimant issued proceedings for damage to his vehicle and minor personal injuries following an RTA involving 2 vehicles.

The insurers denied that a collision had occurred and/or alleged that the reported accident had been a staged collision designed to set up a dishonest insurance claim.

The basis of the insurers allegations was that the Claimant, or someone using his name, had been involved in a number of “crash for cash” type frauds at the relevant time.

The trial judge had made no findings or observations as to the manner or demeanour in which the Claimant had given his evidence or as to the weaknesses in it.

There was no records of the RTA in the Claimant's GP notes and the trial concluded that on the balance of probabilities the insurer had established that he was involved in a fraud.

The Claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge had been wrong to draw the inference that the Claimant had been party to the fraud.

Furthermore the judge’s findings regarding the GP records could not have a conclusive weight that the judge had attributed to them. If there had been a staged accident, the Claimant would have made sure that the GP records had referred to an RTA.

Accordingly the matter is identified by the trial judge for finding fraudulent involvements on the part of the Claimant has not been sufficiently cogent to have justified an inference of fraudulent complicity.

Appeal allowed.