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Fraudster in bogus claim over speed bump damage to car

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Council investigators rumbled a bogus compensation claim from a driver who said her car had been damaged by a speed bump.

Officials at Leicester City Council said the motorist fraudulently tried to get a pay-out for repairs to her car by submitting a fake mechanic's invoice which she had bought from someone in the pub.

Officers said their suspicions were aroused because of errors on the invoice.

On investigation, they discovered the garage was fictitious.

Details of the case were revealed after it emerged nearly 400 drivers have sought compensation from the council, claiming damage to their vehicles was caused by speed bumps or other traffic-calming measures around the city.

Most of the claims have been rejected.

Brian Brookes, the council's insurance and claims manager, said the woman was successfully prosecuted for fraud at Leicester Magistrates' Court in March. She received a year-long conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £200 in costs.

Mr Brookes said: "We offered to pay up but we had concerns about the invoice she submitted. It was full of errors.

"It didn't look right, so we checked it out and discovered it was fraudulent."

He said she was seeking about £400 for repairs to her front bumper, which she said had been damaged by the speed bumps in Hillsborough Drive, Eyres Monsell.

Mr Brookes said: "She was our first prosecution for fraud for someone who fraudulently tried to claim for damage caused by traffic-calming.

"We hope it will send a message to others not to try it. We thoroughly investigate every claim because it is public money.

"Where we have failed to maintain the surface of the road properly or haven't acted to repair damage promptly when we have been told about it, we will pay out. Most claims are rejected."

Between 2005 and the end of March this year, 377 drivers had submitted claims following damage they said was caused by traffic-calming measures around the city.

A total of £16,499.83 has been paid out in that time to 81 successful claimants.

The most claims in any year was 102 in 2010-11. The council said the particularly cold winter damaged roads.

In 2012-13 there were 76 claims but only 11 succeeded, with £1,100 being paid out in total.

Automobile Association spokesman Luke Bosdet said: "Generally, you see drivers claiming more for potholes damaging their cars than speed bumps.

"If you approach traffic-calming measures sensibly you shouldn't really have any problems."

Fraudster in bogus claim over speed bump damage to car


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