Conman jailed over fake injury compensation claims

A fraudster was jailed today for trying to claim compensation from a number of local councils for injuries he had never suffered.





Nathan Williams said he had tripped and fallen on the pavement in streets across eight London boroughs.



Prosecutors estimated that if his claims had been successful they would have netted him more than £20,000 - and would have cost the local authorities more than £100,000.



Williams claimed he had suffered injuries in Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham, Westminster, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets and Southwark between 2007 and 2008.



The 38-year-old used the fictional accidents to make a string of personal injury claims against the local authorities and Transport for London (TfL), which has responsibility for red routes.



He obtained £2,800 for a separate claim of a similar nature made against a private company, Southwark Crown Court in London was told.



Williams, who has seven previous convictions and no fixed address, pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.



He was given a 15-month sentence for each offence, to run concurrently, and was told he must serve at least half of this time in prison.



The fraud came to light when an investigator noticed that three or four claims had been made by the same person, prosecutor Tim Banks told the court.



Unemployed Williams was arrested last November and his computer was seized.



On it were various files marked "projects".



Mr Banks said: "A certain amount of planning went into this. The claims were accompanied by photos of the pavement that was damaged and in some cases there was a witness, which the Crown says was fictitious."



The cost of investigating the fraud amounted to more than £30,000, he added.



Judge Christopher Hardy described Williams' behaviour as "a carefully planned course of dishonest conduct".



He said: "Local authorities would have lost a large amount of money, which would have fallen on the council taxpayers for those boroughs and on the travelling public for TfL."



Passing sentence, he told Williams: "These are serious offences because this was a sustained and determined campaign on your part to make false claims against London boroughs and TfL for alleged personal injuries which you had never suffered.



"It seems to me a custodial sentence is called for, not only as punishment but as a deterrent to other people who may be tempted to make false claims against local authorities."



Defence barrister Lewis Green said his client, who was believed to be suffering from a personality disorder, did not intend to use any money obtained to fund a lavish lifestyle.



He said: "He says he felt compelled to undertake these offences because he learnt his landlord was in trouble with his mortgage company and Mr Williams felt he would in some way be able to assist in that he's topping up the money that was being paid in housing benefit to his landlord.



"He was not expecting to lead a high life as a result of this. He was intending to help someone out."



No money had been paid out by the local authorities or TfL because, he said, the insurance companies "smelt a rat" before it reached that stage.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference