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Jail suspended for duo in cash-for-crash case.

TWO men who were involved in crash-for-cash car insurance scams on Teesside roads have been given suspended jail sentences.

The judge said that the scam involving staged crashes or crashes that never happened had become extremely common and it demanded a prison sentence.

The case at Teesside Crown Court involved three separate accident claims between 2011 and 2012 which featured damage and personal injury claims.

Tina Pawson, prosecuting, said that two of the cars involved had been insured in false names.

One claim was for an "accident" between a Mercedes and a Nissan Almera on February 4, 2012 in Ayresome Street, central Middlesbrough, and the claim was against the Nissan. Another claim was for an "accident" between a Honda Civic and an Audi A3 in Mandale Road, Acklam, Middlesbrough, on February 9, 2012.

Two weeks later police raided premises on a Middlesbrough business park and they recovered damaged vehicles including the Mercedes, which they were able to prove could not have been involved in the reported accidents.

The insurance company had assessed the repair costs to the Mercedes at PS3,837 which was paid out, and the loss for the Audi was put at PS6,335, and the vehicle was written-off. The Audi payout was made to Allah Ghani, 61, from Thornaby, and the Mercedes to Iftikar Hussain from Leeds. Insurer Aviva made further payments of PS8,477 for replacement vehicles and legal costs.

When Hussain was arrested he admitted that he had never been involved in an accident and he said that he had agreed to provide details for the claim.

Miss Pawson said that after the vehicles were recovered by police the insurance company launched an investigation. That led to a cheque for PS1,000 being sent to the company with a promise of further payments being made.

Ghani, of Mansfield Avenue, Thornaby, was yesterday given a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years after he pleaded guilty to doing an act tending to pervert the course of justice. Hussain, of Harehills Road, Leeds, was given a similar sentence with 100 hours' unpaid work after he admitted fraud.

Judge Peter Armstrong told them: "Justice dictates that there should be some sort of deterrent to remind people that this sort of behaviour should not be overlooked.

"What saves both of you from immediate custody is the fact that you had the courage and good sense to plead guilty at an early stage, and secondly these offences are of some age."

Last month two other men were given jail sentences at Teesside Crown Court for their parts in the scam, while three others received suspended jail terms.

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 16, 2015
Words:437
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