Two men from Luton were among a trio jailed after staging a car crash in Watford to make false insurance claims.
Arthur Bilksji, 24, from Leighton Buzzard was jailed for 15 months, Piotir Wojtukiewicz, 24, from Luton was jailed for 17 months and Michal Wielesik, 24, also from Luton, was jailed for 14 months.
The three men were sentenced at Inner London Crown Court after they were caught on CCTV camera on the A411 in Watford deliberately causing a collision.
In April last year the victim of the crash drove his Vauxhall Vivaro behind two vehicles in Watford, a Vauxhall Astra and an unidentified saloon.
Using a typical ‘crash-for-cash’ tactic, the lead vehicle slammed on its brakes for no obvious reason and the Astra stopped behind it. The man driving the Vivaro van was unable to stop and went into the Astra at 5mph, and the lead car sped off.
The man driving the Vivaro, who was unwittingly involved in the crash, challenged Woktukiezwicz, the back-seat passenger, and suggested that it had been a deliberate collision. The driver of the Vivaro told investigators that all three occupants of the Astra started rubbing their backs and necks in pain when an ambulance arrived.
Whilst the Vivaro driver was still exchanging insurance details another man – suspected to be the lead car driver – walked over whilst talking on his phone. He both admitted and denied being in the vehicle before leaving, but not before the Vivaro driver took photographs of him and the other men on his phone.
The Vivaro driver alerted AXA insurance to the fact that he thought the accident was deliberately set-up, the men initially placed claims through their solicitors but then did not respond when AXA started to make further enquiries about the accident. Further checks by AXA resulted in them referring the case to our Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department for investigation.
Detective Constable Paula Doyle, the officer leading the case, said: “The three men staged a crash with an innocent member of the public without a thought for the possibility that they could cause injury or worse to other road users. They did not consider that they could be costing the innocent driver his livelihood and push up his insurance premiums.
“Fortunately, the man they targeted was fully aware of how fraudsters like this operate and was able to give his insurers and the police valuable information to assist in identifying and prosecuting three of the men involved.
“Today’s result shows that by working together with insurers such as AXA, cases like this will be exposed and that those who think it is fine to make a living out of crime will end up paying the consequences”.