Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

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

PUBLISHED: 10:03 09 August 2014 | UPDATED: 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

Comedian and panel-show regular Ó Briain is among the latest acts to be announced for this year’s Latitude Festival.

Drivers are being urged to take extra caution on the roads this morning, with heavy fog across parts of the East of England.

Former Colchester Borough Council employee Frank Fenning was struck by a trailer which a farmer had not properly attached to a tractor, a court heard.

Agency consultants at Ipswich Hospital are being paid up to £126 per hour to fill gaps in the rota, it has been revealed.

There have been two incidents on Suffolk’s roads this morning (March 28).

I live about two miles from our office in Portman Road, and in November last year I started walking to work. It started on the day the Orwell Bridge was closed.

Two would-be robbers travelled 200 miles to Ipswich to give an Upper Orwell Street shopkeeper a “telling off”, a court heard.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24