Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Needham Market: Michael Brame jailed after boasting he ‘got one over on the council’ in pothole fall fraud

10:03 09 August 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

A fraudster whose lies about the cause of an injury cost Suffolk taxpayers more than £14,000 has been jailed after he was recorded boasting about “getting one over on the council”.

Michael Brame admitted duping Suffolk County Council into paying £7,200 in damages by making fraudulent claims that he had injured himself falling into a pothole outside The Swan pub in Needham Market.

Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday that the 48-year-old former lorry driver had later admitted to police that the injury was incurred at a friend’s house when a brick wall collapsed under his weight.

Brame, of School Street, Needham Market, reported the pothole to the council in August 2012 but made no notification about his intention to claim for compensation, the court heard.

Jude Durr, prosecuting, said that after suffering the injury, Brame “saw the chance to get something and went for it”.

“It just snowballed from there,” he added.

SCC received notification of the complaint from personal injury lawyers, medical records were provided and by October 2012, Brame received his compensation.

The fraudster was exposed, however, when a “well intentioned member of the public” recorded Brame making claims he “got one over on the council” during a conversation in November 2012, the court heard.

“It was a consequence of that boasting that led to this false claim inquiry and the deception was uncovered,” Mr Durr said.

Brame admitted making false claims under police interview and pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on July 3.

Raising “aggravating factors” in the case, Mr Durr pointed to the legal costs incurred by the council, which were almost as much as the compensation paid out.

He also suggested the council should be considered a “vulnerable victim” as public organisations are “often seen as soft targets for fraudsters”. Finally, he highlighted the impact that false claims have on increasing premiums and leading genuine claimants to be treated with suspicion.

Judge Rupert Overbury, sentencing Brame said he was a dishonest opportunist and anything other than a custodial sentence would “reduce confidence in the insurance world”.

“The opportunity to make a false claim came around and you thought it would be easy money,” he said.

“At the time you didn’t think you were doing anything wrong, you only pleaded guilty because in your own words someone grassed you up.

“If no one had done so, no one would have been any the wiser and you would have kept the money.”

Joanne Eley, defending Brame, said he had lost his job as a lorry driver due to health reasons, was struggling on benefit and spent the money on his children. “He did not spend the money on luxuries or holidays for himself,” she said.

Brame was sentenced to 16 months, of which he will serve eight in prison and eight in the community.

A proceeds of crime hearing will be heard at a later date.

2 comments

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Tornado spotted in Old Newton. Picture: Emma Cobbold

A mid-Suffolk resident has spoken of the “surreal” moment she spotted a tornado as she drove through the county this evening (Tuesday).

Television personality Cathy McGowan came to Ipswich in February 1967

Opening in 1967, Fanny was the first boutique to open in Ipswich, writes David Kindred,

Road crash. Library image.

A crash involving a bus and a car has blocked an Ipswich road.

Michael Murdon, from Woolpit

Police are appealing for help to find a missing man from Woolpit who may be in Felixstowe.

Sebastian Beaumont-Hewitt and Tobey Bloomfield.

Beaver Scouts in Ipswich celebrate 30th anniversary in swine style.

The Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich The Right Reverend Martin Seeley, centre, and clergy with priests who were ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, on Saturday. 25/06/16.

Fifteen new priests and deacons, including two in their 20s, have been ordained during a ceremony in Suffolk.

Stoke Street, where the incident happened

Three men arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Ipswich have been told they will not be charged.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Rail services are delayed between Ipswich and Lowestoft, and between Manningtree and Colchester, due to problems on the network.

Tracy Garwood's car parked on her drive in Saturn Road, Ipswich

A woman has been left fuming after she was given a ticket for a car parked on her drive, which was deemed to be on double yellow lines.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24