Paul Havert has been sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years

crime prison

AXA has won a contempt of court case against a construction worker who attempted to inflate a £200,000 personal injury claim against the insurer.

Paul Havert has been sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, after admitting contempt of court for lying under oath about his past and current financial conditions as he sought to secure an inflated settlement.

AXA had already made interim payments of £30,000 in respect of the claim for a genuine injury, but Havert was claiming for additional payments relating to financial hardship and mortgage arrears as a result of the accident.

But District Judge Stapely awarded damages of only £40,661 to Havert, on the basis that while he had indeed suffered a genuine injury, the judge did not accept Havert’s account in relation to his pre-accident earnings, post-accident earnings and post-accident working hours.

District Judge Stapely also reduced Havert’s claims for costs by 50% and ruled that AXA may apply to the court to recover the balance of the settlement originally awarded to Havert (£9,834.29) in consideration of the cost accrued by the insurer in Havert’s delay in admitting his guilt.

AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary claims fraud manager Edward Frost said: “Although this is just one victory in the fight against fraud it is important that AXA and all other insurers pursue and prosecute fraud wherever it is attempted.

“Havert had attempted to execute a significant fraud against us and our determination to protect our shareholders and honest customers from the cost of fraud should send out a clear message to anyone who seeks to defraud us either systematically or by inflating a genuine claim, as was the case here.”

And Frost added that momentum was being gained in the fight against fraudulent claims, with support from the justice system beginning to shine through.

“The industry’s fight against fraud is really building up a head of steam and it would appear that we are beginning to secure real support from the justice system in our endeavours to prosecute these fraudsters,” he said. “In addition, we have the continuing great work of the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the Insurance Fraud Register, which now has the names of over 2,000 known fraudsters on its systems.”

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