Credit-hire witnesses jailed for contempt
By Michael Cross
Seven expert witnesses who were found to have committed perjury on an ‘industrial scale’ by giving courts inaccurate information on the cost of hire cars provided after road traffic accidents received prison sentences today. The seven, former employees of expert evidence business Autofocus, were jailed from six to 13 months.
The sentencing is the latest twist in long running litigation over a case brought by credit hire firm Accident Exchange after Lord Justice Moses ruled in a 2012 High Court hearing that perjury had taken place on an ‘industrial scale’.
Passing sentence today, Mr Justice Supperstone said he was mindful of the damage that had been done to the business of Accident Exchange and its employees over a prolonged period. He also noted that, with the exception of one defendant, the main alleged perpetrators of the fraud had not been before the court in this action. As a result, he said he has referred the case to the director of public prosecutions with a recommendation that the position of those who controlled and managed Autofocus at the time be reviewed.
In a statement, Accident Exchange expressed its ‘regret that the actions of the individuals – working for and responsible to both their employer and the legal process – have resulted in such serious consequences for them personally.’
Accident Exchange continues to pursue Commercial Court proceedings for the recovery of what it claims are losses of £125 million attributable to the production and deployment of false and misleading evidence by Autofocus.
(Courtesy: Law Society Gazette)