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Woman pretended daughter was injured in Manchester attack for insurance claim

Susan Pain, 51, ‘exploited human suffering’ to make years of fraudulent claims amounting to £140,000

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Wednesday 19 September 2018 14:47 BST
Susan Pain has been jailed for two years after admitting fraud
Susan Pain has been jailed for two years after admitting fraud (City of London Police)

A woman who pretended her fake daughter was injured in the Manchester attack to make an insurance claim has been jailed for fraud.

Susan Pain, who worked in insurance herself, posed as a dentist and said her daughter “Sophie” had sustained serious injuries needing two operations following the bombing that left 22 people dead last year.

But AXA could not trace a victim under the name given in the £2,500 claim for loss of earnings, and alerted the police after uncovering years of false claims by Pain.

Judge Alan Conrad QC said: “I am sure all right-minded members of the public would be shocked, in particular, that you would use a tragedy which shook the nation as the basis for a fraudulent claim.”

At Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday, the 51-year-old, of Kirkby in Merseyside, was jailed for two years after admitting fraud amounting to almost £140,000.

Prosecutors said Pain had no daughter and had previously exploited human suffering to make money despite taking home a monthly salary of £2,500.

Between March 2010 and July 2017 she submitted 31 fraudulent insurance claims through Money Medical Management, an insurance broker where she was a director.

Mancunians mark one year since the Manchester Arena bombing

She used her experience overseeing claims by medical and dental professions against unexpected costs caused by sickness, maternity, family emergencies and jury service to fake her own submissions.

One claimed that her “son” had a skiing accident in Switzerland, while another alleged that her husband suffered an ulcer while playing golf in Spain. Pain also used a fictional daughter to claim £4,500 four years ago.

“My teenage daughter has been undergoing treatment relating to anorexia and other psychological issues,” claimed a document from 2014.

“Due to her vulnerable state of mind I had no option but to take a leave of absence in order to care for her and to arrange for emergency psychological evaluation and subsequent (long-term) counselling.”

In another claim she said her friend’s seven-year-old son had leukaemia, while another said her niece’s elderly mother was housebound after a fall.

Detective Constable Ant Andrews, of City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said: “Pain exploited the tragic terror attack at the Manchester Arena, as well as other examples of human suffering, to make a financial gain.

“She betrayed the trust she had with her friends and family, using their details to make the false claims, then lying to them so she could receive the money she’d stolen.

“She is now paying a significant price for her fraudulent activity, not just with the sentence handed down by the court, but also with the loss of her job and reputation.”

Pain made some of the claims in the names of relatives and friends, who received the money into their bank accounts via cheques and transfers.

Pain told them that the money was bonuses from work and she would get a tax advantage if she routed the money through their accounts. Neither they nor Money Medical Management were aware of the fraud.

“In some cases you used false documents in support of claims and such was the trust in which you were held they were never challenged,” Judge Conrad said.

On occasion Pain would also fill in paperwork by hand, writing with both her left and right hands to make the writing look different.

She also provided supporting documents such as NHS paperwork on medical procedures, maternity certificates, and forged letters from Her Majesty’s Court Service as “proof” of jury duty.

Michael Bagley, defending, said Pain was still in debt despite the claims.

“How she got to this point is still fundamentally difficult to understand,” he said.

“She is relieved it is over. The greatest punishment for her, of course, is social ruin. She is going to have to confront a life now where all her achievements are set at nought.”

The Crown Prosecution Service has applied to Liverpool Crown Court to recover the stolen funds from Pain under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Carolyn Scott, head of household and lifestyle at AXA Insurance – which lost more than £139,800 through Pain’s fraud – said: “Ms Pain took advantage of a position of trust to deceive her employer and defraud AXA. She used details of extremely upsetting events and circumstances to make fraudulent claims for her own personal gain.”

Additional reporting by PA

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