Leeds & West Yorkshire

Woman staged fall at Bradford store to claim payment

Farida Ashraf falling over in Al-Halal Image copyright Al-Halal/Clyde & Co
Image caption Two women were seen on CCTV moving a crate of orange juice cartons, with Farida Ashraf later tripping over it

A woman who staged a fall over a crate in a Bradford store in order to make a bogus injury claim has been given a suspended prison sentence for fraud.

Farida Ashraf, 41, of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was seen on CCTV tripping over the crate in 2013 after two accomplices had placed it on the floor.

She said she had suffered multiple injuries, but a civil court ruled the claim was "fundamentally dishonest".

The case against her at Bradford Crown Court was brought by the insurers.

It is thought to be the first private prosecution of its kind.

The judge suspended her 21-month jail term for two years.

Ashraf, of Staincliffe Crescent, was seen tripping over orange juice cartons at the Al-Halal premises on Woodhead Road and waited for eight or nine months before submitting an injury claim for about £3,000, the court heard.

Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, said she had hoped the CCTV would have been erased by then, but a suspicious member of staff had kept hold of the footage.

One of the two accomplices, who have never been identified, was seen taking a photograph of the crate on the floor shortly before Ashraf fell.

'No questions'

Ashraf claimed to have suffered injuries to her shoulder, shin, calf and hip, but a judge dismissed the claim in 2016 after an inquiry by insurance company Aviva.

Aviva pursued a private prosecution, resulting in Ashraf admitting a fraud charge in March, Mr Lumley said.

"It is, we think, the first private prosecution arising out of a public liability insurance claim," he said.

Sentencing Ashraf, Judge David Hatton QC said: "You no doubt anticipated that the insurance company of the supermarket would pay up with little or no questions. Happily they did not."

After considering documentation about Ashraf's health difficulties and her caring role for her mother, sister and daughter, the judge suspended the jail term and gave her a six-month curfew order.

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