September 22, 2015

Correctly answering ten questions in a row on formerly popular TV Quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire used to net contestants a guaranteed £32,000. That’s right: however stupidly they answered Question 11, they still got to keep that £32k.

Sadly for Porsche 911 driving Mark Smith, 45, of Doncaster, the same rules do not apply to dubious personal accident claims pay-outs. Oh, Deary Me, no!

Mr Smith, if that is his real name, was ordered to repay a similar amount, plus court costs of a further £7.5k, after Judge A. P. Chris “The Boss” Moss ruled that Smith was officially a wrong ‘un and had wilfully endangered other road users by slamming on his brakes for no good reason, slap bang in front of a Doncaster Council van on the “tunnel section” of the A638 back in 2009 – and should no longer be allowed to enjoy his unlawful loot.

Insurers Zurg, from whom the nefarious Smith obtained his ill-gotten gains, originally referred him to fraud-busting hard-nut cop squad the FEDs after they took a gander at some CCTV footage that showed Smith doing the aforementioned brake slamming in his 911, causing the Donny DC-mobile to prang up his hindquarters, and then (somewhat bafflingly) emerging totally unscathed from the aforementioned tunnel.

Oddly, press reports offer no explanation for the lack of damage to the Porsche’s rear end – a feat of miraculous unscathedness somewhat akin to when one of those blokes in evening dress bisects some hapless bint in a spangly wheely-box, only to reveal her, seconds later, fully restored to her former state of bodily integrity.

Perhaps he’d taped some cushions to the rear bumper. Perhaps it was ‘a kind of magic’. Perhaps we’ll never know.

Be that as it may, Smith, was sent down for six months (suspended) at an earlier trial in 2013 and ordered to do 140 hours unpaid work, after he admitted that he faked his repair bills and had not (of course) suffered from fictional neck complaint Whiplash.

Now, just two years later, Boss Moss has ordered so-called Smith to return the cash he had from Zurg within three months – or go to prison for 18 months (whether or not he would be suspended in any way during his stay in gaol, the papers don’t say).

The possibility of Zurg getting its money back five years after Smith helped himself is “an extremely positive outcome,” said a triumphant Stephen Testes of the FEDs. It just goes to show, he emphasised: crime doesn’t pay.


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