2nd Jul, 2022

Step-son's car insurance fraud lands innocent man in trouble over speeding fine

FRAUD by his ‘step-son’ meant an innocent man’s credit rating and his ability to insure his car were affected after he failed to pay a speeding fine recorded in his name.

The real culprit was innocent Robin Gulliver’s ‘step-son’ Darran Phazey, who had insured his own car in Mr Gulliver’s name, a judge at Warwick Crown Court has heard.

Phazey (36) now of Howell Road, Sheldon, pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by taking out car insurance in Warwick man Mr Gulliver’s name, exposing him to a risk of loss.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work, to take part in a Thinking Skills programme, and banned from driving for a year.

Prosecutor Rebecca Da Silva said that in early 2015 Phazey bought a silver Mazda which he registered in the name of Michelle Richards, giving his mother’s address in George Road, Warwick.

Phazey, who was living there at the time, then insured the car in the name of his mother’s then-partner Mr Gulliver.

The following year the car was caught speeding, and a notice of intended prosecution was sent to Mr Gulliver at the George Road address – but he never received it.

As a result he was unaware he had been convicted in his absence – until bailiffs turned up at his home to recover payment after he had failed to pay the fine imposed by the magistrates.

Because of the conviction, which resulted in him getting six points on his licence, and his failure to pay the fine, his ability to obtain insurance and his credit rating were both affected.

And Miss Da Silva pointed out that meanwhile Phazey was driving the car uninsured and without a licence, and has escaped prosecution for the speeding offence.

Tariq Shakoor, defending said that since the offence Phazey has served a 16-month prison sentence imposed in December 2018 for burglary.

Since his release from that sentence he has made positive steps towards changing his lifestyle, and was engaging well with his supervising officer and working in partnership with his brother as a handyman.

Of the offence, Mr Shakoor said: “He has regretted what he did. It has led to a massive fall-out between him and his step-father. He has a deep regret that he put his step-father in that position.

“Happily the points and the financial penalty suffered by the victim were quashed.”

Sentencing Phazey, and ordering him to pay compensation of £200 to Mr Gulliver, Judge Anthony Potter told him: “In 2015 you acted in a thoroughly dishonest way.

“In a desire to drive and not be discovered you put your step-father Mr Gulliver at risk of conviction for offences he had absolutely no knowledge of.

“You were abusing your step-father’s trust, and the activity was over a sustained period and had a high impact on Mr Gulliver.

“For reasons that are a little hard to fathom, it has taken five years for you to come to court, but two years ago you admitted what you had done.

“You are not a stranger to the dock, but you have, with a blip in 2018, kept out of trouble for many years.”

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