A father and daughter from Milton Keynes have been sentenced in the High Court today after fabricating a story about injury caused by tripping over a drain cover.
Shaun Sturges, 51, of Kemble Court, Downhead Park was immediately jailed for eight months, after pleading guilty to contempt of court.
His daughter, Danielle, of Bradwell Common Boulevard, who supported his original claim, had also admitted the same offence and was given a six month sentence, suspended for a year.
Mr Sturges brought a personal injury claim against Milton Keynes Council for damages and injury sustained as a result of a tripping accident on a drain cover outside a house in Fairford Crescent, Downhead Park in February 2012.
He stated in his claim that he tripped over the drain cover - despite medical notes and records showing that he suffered the injury after slipping on ice.
The court heard that Mr Sturges pursued his fake claim for several years, signing documents in the court process, detailing how he tripped on a drain cover which led to him sustaining an injury at the above location, which was supported by signed witness evidence, written by his daughter.
These actions led to the contempt of court charges.
Mr Sturges was invited to discontinue his claim without any damages being paid in October 2015 after detailed investigation by Milton Keynes Council’s insurance and legal teams.
In jailing Mr Sturges, Judge Coe QC, said: “There is high public interest is preventing fraud. This is not a victimless crime and a strong deterrent is needed.
“You lied to solicitors, in documents and to the court which prevents the fair administration of justice.”
Councillor Martin Gowans, said: “We are very pleased with this result and hope this sends out a strong message to anyone tempted to try and make money with a false insurance claim.
“Budgets are tight enough as it is, without people trying to ‘help themselves’ to a very thinly stretched financial pot.”