Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

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”.

shares

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.

shares

2 comments

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

An artist's impression of the street scene at Wolsey Grange.

A rejected bid to create almost 500 homes on land near Ipswich is to be reconsidered – following allegations a district councillor was handed a note during the original hearing.


A trolley bus at the junction of Duke Street (right) and Fore Hamlet (behind the bus) in April 1963. (Photo by Alan Valentine).

It is more than 50 years since the last trolley bus service ran on the streets of Ipswich, writes David Kindred.

High water at Felixstowe Ferry. Archive image. Photo: Stephen Squirrell/citizenside.com

Flood alerts are in place tonight along the Essex and Suffolk coastline.

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was issued two fines of £70 for parking.

A group of former employees at a store in Ipswich have been left distraught after car park fines mistakenly issued more than two years ago has left them facing a court appearance.

Two charged over cannabis factory

A78-year-old Ipswich man is one of two people to have been charged after police raided a cannabis factory near Stowmarket.

Bucklesham Grange care home, Ipswich celebrate shrove Tuesday with a pancake race and pancake tossing 
Debbie and John with Daniel rowark

Flipping good fun was had by all at Bucklesham Grange Care Home this afternoon as a range of games and activities were put on to mark Shrove Tuesday.

Local campaigners  gather in silent protest against the prospective development of rushmere memorial woodland and small holding

A site registered as an asset of community value last year faces losing the status already after a High Court battle against housing plans was rejected.

Northgate High School GV.

A former teacher at an Ipswich secondary school is to appear in court charged with alleged sex offences involving teenage girls.

Do you know where this church is?

Take a look at our selection of photos - how many Suffolk churches can you identify?

Live:News updates from Suffolk and Essex

Yesterday, 14:39
Share your pancake photos with us

Live news feed bringing you the latest headlines, sports stories and opinion from across Suffolk and north Essex.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24