The fraudster claimed to be severely injured when a bus hit his car… except he wasn’t in it

Horwich Farrelly and bus operator First Bus has secured the conviction of a fraudster who claimed a bus severely injured him when it crashed into his car, despite not actually being in it at the time of collision.

Zafar Iqbal, 45, was sentenced to six months imprisonment after an investigation and committal proceedings.

The claim

The claim was first made in 2015 when a bus collided with Iqbal’s stationary parked vehicle in Bristol, causing minor damage. 

Iqbal said he was in the vehicle at the time of the crash and said he suffered severe shoulder, leg, back, ankle, upper leg and chest pain as a result of the collision.

Horwich Farrelly found found that Iqbal was not seriously injured in the collision – in fact he wasn’t even in his vehicle at the time of the incident. He was seen on CCTV standing outside of his car and running after the bus after the incident.

“An assault on our system of justice

Iqbal admitted to nine grounds of contempt of court and was subsequently sentenced to six months imprisonment.

In summing up the case at Bristol Crown Court, HHJ Lambert said: “These cases are an assault on our system of justice…Dishonest claims strike at the heart of the fair administration of justice.

“The impact of false claims on society is great. Those who bring false claims should expect to be sent to prison. The Respondent’s conduct was serious, persistent and wilful. Only a custodial sentence can be justified bearing in mind the threat to justice.”

“Greed took precedence”

Commenting on the case, Julie Randle, fraud prevention officer for First Bus’ in-house claims team, said: “Attempted frauds against our companies will not be tolerated. Mr Iqbal had nearly three years to admit to his actions, but greed took precedence. He gave no consideration to the effects of his actions on the travelling public or anyone else.

“As this case demonstrates, First Bus will take whatever steps are necessary to defend fraudulent claims through the courts and in Mr Iqbal’s case that has resulted in six months’ imprisonment, a criminal record and fines totalling tens of thousands of pounds.”

Ronan McCann, managing partner at Horwich Farrelly, added: “It was right and proper that the courts took a hard line against Mr Iqbal. Despite having plenty of time to admit his claim was false he persisted in pursuing First Bus.

“A case of this nature demonstrates the very real consequences of making a fraudulent claim. It also underlines the commitment of Horwich Farrelly to continue to work with the industry to combat fraudulent cases and ensure that honest customers do not suffer from the dishonest actions of others.”