Mark Cox tried to claim for a Breitling watch he never owned

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A 43-year-old man from Buckinghamshire has been found guilty of trying to defraud insurer Esure of £6,000 by claiming for a Breitling watch he never owned.

Mark Cox of Aylesbury was found guilty of fraud by false representation at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on 8 January. He is due to be sentenced on 13 January.

The conviction follows an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), triggered by Esure’s suspicions about the claim.

Cox took out a home insurance policy with Esure on 6 May 2014 and requested that a Breitling Navitimer watch, valued at £6,000, be added to the policy.

Five days later he reported the watch lost and claimed on his policy.

When Esure asked about the watch, Cox claimed it was a gift from his grandmother, but he didn’t have a receipt or documentation that would verify ownership.

The insurer then asked if he had any photographic evidence of the watch and Cox emailed in three pictures, which he claimed had been taken two years earlier.

But the photos were found to have been created on 2 June 2014 – after Cox had reported the watch as lost.

Esure discontinued the claim and referred the case to IFED.

Cox was arrested at his home on 21 April 2015. Officers searched the address and seized his mobile phone and a watch and box that matched those in the pictures he’d sent to Esure.

Staff from Breitling confirmed the watch and box were fakes.

Detective constable Jamie Kirk from the IFED team that investigated the case said: “Even when we had overwhelming evidence that [Cox had] made up the claim, he still tried to maintain that his story was true.

“This case should serve as a warning to others that making fraudulent insurance claims is not a quick or easy way to make money and that we, in partnership with the insurance industry, will look to prosecute those who attempt to defraud insurers in this way.”

Esure chief operating officer David Pitt added: “Esure takes fraud very seriously and we are pleased with this verdict.”