Three men admit causing motorway crash to falsely claim for injuries

Three Liverpool men admitted causing a crash on a motorway in a bid to fraudulently claim £150,000 for personal injuries.

Suspicions emerged in December 2011 about 30 whiplash claims after a coach crash on a roundabout near the M57.

At Southwark Crown Court, Liam Gray, 26, admitted two conspiracy to defraud charges. Ben Carberry, 20, and 35-year-old Kevin Hamilton admitted one count.

They will be sentenced at a later date.

The case came to court after underwriters Service Underwriting referred suspicions about the crash involving a coach travelling to Belle Vue dog track in Manchester, in December 2011, to the City of London Police insurance fraud team.

Felt unwell

The coach driver told insurers he was asked to pull over on the M57 by passengers who said the coach had been hit by a Renault Megane, even though he felt no impact.

He found both vehicles superficially damaged but passengers claimed they felt unwell and asked to be taken back to a pub in Bootle, Merseyside.

He took their details and watched as they ran across a dual carriageway into the pub, the court heard.

The insurer established that the three men had been to Everton matches together.

Very low speed

Before the collision Gray had bought the Renault, along with insurance for Hamilton, and Carberry had arranged and paid for the coach, as well as the group booking for the dog track.

They also identified that Hamilton had driven the Renault at very low speed into the back of the coach.

Gray, of First Avenue, Fazakerley, was remanded in custody to appear at Southwark Crown Court later.

Carberry, of Old Hall Street, Liverpool, and Hamilton, of Asser Road in West Derby, will also be sentenced at the court at a later date.

Det Sgt Mark Forster who led the investigation, said: "This was a carefully planned crime by a group of friends who decided that a coach trip to the dog track was the perfect vehicle to try and commit insurance fraud on a large scale.

"The fact they were putting lives at risk by causing a crash on a busy road did not hold them back."