Ipswich: Bentley owner fined over insurance scam

Peter Webb claimed his restored Bentley had been stolen

Peter Webb claimed his restored Bentley had been stolen - Credit: Contributed

A BUSINESSMAN who used fake pictures in an unsuccessful bid to convince an insurance company that his stolen Bentley was worth almost £40,000 more than he paid for it has been fined £10,000.

Peter Webb arranged with a garage to take a Bentley, of the same model but in better condition than his car, for a test drive and took the opportunity to swap the vehicle’s number plates with those of his car and to take photographs which he gave to investigators looking into his claim, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

However Webb’s scam was uncovered when investigators went on to Google and saw the car in the photographs was being sold by a car dealer in Great Dunmow and wasn’t in fact his.

Webb, 56, of Richmond Road, Ipswich, admitted fraud by making a fraudulent insurance claim with the intention of making a gain of £42,000. Judge Rupert Overbury fined him £10,000 and ordered him to pay £1,000 prosecution costs and £1,323 compensation to the insurance company to pay for their investigation.

He said the insurance company caught Webb out and he had gained nothing from the scam.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said Webb took out an insurance policy for a Bentley in February 2011, claiming it was worth £42,000. He reported the car as stolen in April 2011 and made an insurance claim.

Mr Crimp said Webb later admitted buying the car for just £3,700 but claimed he had spent £32,000 on restoring it.

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When asked to supply paperwork about the restoration work Webb said it had been in the car when it was stolen.

But a witness who carried out an MOT on the car in December 2010 described it as “tatty and dull” and not like the car in the photographs. Michael Latham, for Webb, said his client’s business interests had suffered because of the recession.