Some of the people crack motor insurance fraud busters The FEDs come up against are terrifyingly sophisticated. Some, on the other hand, are terrifyingly stupid.

Take, for example, Luke Gaughan and Sam Bobbly-Bingly, a couple of feckless young ne’er-do-wells from notorious West Yorkshire depravity nest Bradford, who have just been convicted of a quite astonishingly cack-handed attempt at motor insurance fraud.

Even by Bradford standards.

How did the pair’s nefarious intent to subvert the due process of insurance claimage come to light? It happened like this, since you ask.

Late one November night in 2014 Bobbly-Bingly parked his battered Peugeot 206 by the kerb somewhere in Oxenhope, Keighley. Stepping out of the vehicle, he then stood by while his so-called mate Gaughan repeated rammed it with his battered Vauxhall Corsa.

Puzzled locals, perhaps alerted by the unfamiliar sound of one car repeatedly impacting another in the wee small hours and perhaps suspecting, following a brief visual inspection from behind twitching lace curtains, that something irregular might be afoot, decided to call the cops.

With neither car in a fit state for driving any distance, Bobbly-Bingly and Gaughan managed to get them as far as a nearby car park, where they were just in the process of switching to a third ‘getaway’ vehicle, when an officer of the law (one PC Peter Brown, to be precise) turned up and wondered aloud what precisely might be occurring here, Lads.

Having been spotted in the act of playing bumper cars on the public highway and, shortly thereafter, been physically apprehended in an act of car-sharing collusion, the pair had little choice but to fess up to their having – for reasons they preferred not to specify – been deliberately driving one car into the other.

Believing he might have some inkling as to the unspecified motivation for deliberate multi-prankage, PC Brown then took the precaution of warning the hapless pair that – although, as yet, they had committed no crime – they should not even think about submitting one or more dodgy insurance claims. Just to be on the safe side, he also noted their details and kept them on file.

Upon reflection, PC Brown decided that, rather than trusting too far in the good sense or better instincts of this unprepossessing pair, it might be best to do a bit of further research and alert their insurers to the potential benefits of paying extra close attention to the purported circumstances of any claims they might receive from Gaughan or Bobbly-Bingly in the near future.

Unmoved by PC Brown’s friendly admonitions, both young gentlemen proceeded to advise their insurers of an unfortunate accident which, they claimed, had occurred when Bobbly-Bingly had recklessly cut a corner leaving Gaughan no choice but to run into his rear end (just the once, mind).

Bobbly-Bingly’s decision to accept the blame and make no attempt to claim for damage to his own car suggests his nerve may have begun to falter. But Gaughan, clearly the dominant partner in this duplicitous double-act, pressed on merrily with a claim against Bobbly-Bingly’s insurers, Insure My Box.

Having been tipped off by West Yorks Fuzz, thanks to PC Brown, Insure My Box contacted Bobbly-Bingly and suggested to him that the circumstances of the two vehicles coming together may not have been precisely as he had represented them. B-B caved at once, freely admitting he’d been fibbing.

Gaughan, however, turned out to have been made of more resolutely knuckle-headed stuff and insisted his fabrications were the honest truth and nothing but. Undeterred when Insure My Box threw out his claim, he then tried to claim against his own policy, with Uvavu. They, however, had seen him coming a mile off, and immediately referred both of our would-be fraudsters to dreaded anti-fraud squad The FEDs, whose brilliant detective work quickly brought the pair to book.

On 26 May this year both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court to four months’ imprisonment (suspended for 12 months). Gaughan was also ordered to pay back £1,280 for losses incurred by the insurers.

For his pains, Bobbly-Bingly was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. A course on how to pick your friends more carefully might also have been in order.

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