Stuart Gentry was branded a “bold liar” by the judge after faking a crash with his friend
A company director has been slapped with a hefty fine after staging a car crash with his friend in order to make a bogus insurance claim.
The Evening Standard reports that Stuart Gentry, 40, from Basingstoke, claimed another car had struck his Range Rover, writing it off and leaving him with whiplash.
He submitted an insurance claim, seeking damages for his injuries, the car, and the cost of hiring a replacement. The total sum of his claim came to £75,000.
He claimed not to know the other driver involved, Lee Miller, but investigators found that they had been friends for years and had even competed at running events together.
The director of a solar energy company managed to get £14,000 of the claim paid out, but then it was discovered that his car was damaged long before the crash ever took place on 17 March 2013.
Gentry was branded a “bold liar” who had concocted an “elaborate lie” and was guilty of a “serious” contempt of court.
Gentry admitted to knowing Miller before the crash, but said that he was not trying to make a bogus claim, just speed up a genuine one.
Despite this, he was sentenced to nine months, suspended for two years, and was also ordered to pay around £20,000 in damages to the insurers, UK Insurance.
Then he was ordered to pay an extra £150,000, the estimated cost of the legal case.
The judge said: “Of course, it is possible for two friends to suffer a collision when driving their respective cars,” said the judge. “It would, however, be a striking and unlikely coincidence.
“The only credible explanation for the steps both drivers took to hide their friendship is that they knew that it was a staged collision and that to reveal that they were friends would give the game away.
“It may be said that to stage a collision and make a false claim requires boldness on the part of the fraudster,” he said. “But Mr Gentry has shown himself to be a bold liar.”