UK & World News
'Crash For Cash': Men Jailed For Fatal Scam
Members of a Polish gang who staged a "crash-for-cash" insurance scam that led to the death of a motorist have been jailed for up to 10 years and three months.
The deliberate crash in June 2011 caused another collision that killed 34-year-old Baljinder Kaur Gill.
The case was the first fatal crash-for-cash accident to be recorded in Britain.
Radoslaw Bielawski, Jacek Kowalczyk, Andrzez Skowron and Artur Okrutny were sentenced for the attempted fraud in which a Volkswagen Passat and an Audi A3 were to be crashed into a Ford Transit van in order to claim personal injury compensation.
Miss Gill's Ford Fiesta was hit by one of the vehicles used in the £20,000 insurance scam and left stranded in the fast lane of the A40 in Buckinghamshire.
She died when her car was then hit again by a van that was not involved in the scam.
Passing sentence, judge Mr Justice Sweeney said: "This is the first such enterprise to result in a death to come before the courts.
"No sentence can possibly reflect the value of Miss Gill's life."
He added: "It is clear that Miss Gill's death has had, and continues to have an absolutely devastating effect on her family, especially her mother and brother, who close afterwards suffered the loss of her other brother to cancer.
"A case such as this requires the court to show deterrence is one of the purposes of sentencing."
Ringleaders Bielawski, 24, from Rosewood Avenue, Greenford, and Kowalczyk, 32, from Fraser Road, Perivale, were each jailed for 10 years and three months for conspiracy to commit fraud, causing death by dangerous driving and conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice.
Skowron, 25, from Shelley Gardens in Wembley, was jailed for ten years for conspiracy to commit fraud and causing death by dangerous driving.
Artur Okrutny, 23, from Briar Road, London, was not present at the crashes but was jailed for 12 months for conspiring to pervert the course of justice by providing false driver details after the crash and making a false statement to police about what happened.
Colin Lee, aged 34, from York Place, Aylesbury, was found guilty of causing death by careless driving and jailed for 12 months. Lee was the driver of the van that fatally collided with the victim's car.
Miss Gill's family said in a statement released after the hearing that justice had been done.
"Our family will never recover from this tragic event which took the life of our beautiful daughter, sister and truly loved member of our family from us.
"We are relieved that after such a lengthy trial that justice has at last been served today," the statement went on to say.
"As a united family we hope that the result of these court proceedings will prevent any other innocent person being killed or injured on the road through the greed of others."
Figures from the Insurance Fraud Bureau show such scams cost the motor industry £392m very year.
The four men had all arrived from Poland within the last ten years and were working full-time but received no benefits, their lawyers said.
They said their clients were sorry about Miss Gill's death, but insisted it was the subsequent collision that caused the fatal impact.
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what do you think?
Good, not long enough. Or send them home
why are they here ? now they got a roof over their head, food, warmth and health services.. are we getting more stupid as a country,,,, where are our government... get rid of these immigrants they are taking the pss out of our country
Its time we got tough on these sort of people.Wake up politicians.
Now, I don't see that Lee was guilty of anything. Had the gang not disabled her car on the motorway, he would not have hit her. I would suggest that Lee be set free and the gang responsible given those 12 months on top of their sentence. Lee is just a patsy (mind that's all British justice is about - finding patsys)
I imagine he was driving the way all van drivers do - badly.
He has been found guilty of driving carelessly... Was probably on his phone or something at the point of collision!
"They said their clients were sorry about Miss Gill's death, but insisted it was the subsequent collision that caused the fatal impact". Am I missing something here? The car behind is always found to blame when hitting a car in front (driving too close, etc.), but, to be fair, the girl's car was stationary in a fast lane - what chance did the guy have? At least in a traffic jam you get to see hazard or brake lights and sometimes cars catching up gradually. Bit harsh, poor bloke. Death by dangerous driving is a lot on the conscience. The other fools put her there.
Shocking law movvi How was it in Anyway lees fault
Feel very sorry for Colin Lee, he is the innocent man here so why destroy his life. Sympathise with the victims family but jailing someone who is not a danger to society is plain daft! He'll never get a decent job now with a prison record.
start executing them, they wil soon leave for a softer country. But they will not be executed, but let out in three years to carry on where they left off. Roll on December when criminal states join the EU. Millions coming then. Taxes up to pay for them!. Look up OPEN access mode 4, millions of Indian workers coming to take skilled jobs, IT, transport, etc. on Indian Wages. 4 consulants opened in India to process applications. Don't remember Tory's or Labour talking on this!
These folks are coming here to fill the large gap in skilled workers for certain positions. However you seem to misconstrue the entire scenario. Plus what on Earth has this got to do with this particular headline?
Fact that they were Polish made this crime look 10x worse. My opinion is, that insurance companies should stop paying out for minor injuries, like whiplash, that attracts all sort of criminals, not only Polish. Premiums could go down by 30%, but insurance companies will loose money too, so they are not intereted too much. About hate towards immigrants my opinion is: if this country would have enough labour, we wouldn't be here, someone has to earn bennefits to all lazy c...ts here! Now, you can attack me, with your irrational comments.
Condolences to victims family. P.S. If Mr. Lee was procecuted, probably court had solid evidence of his dangerous driving.
They're not skilled workers they take low paid jobs claim housing benefit and then move more of them in and send money home so not benefitting the economy at all and they get everything fixed on nhs whilst they're here - shouldn't get benefits or nhs treatment they e no contributed and aren't contributing by taking low paid jobs we're keeping them
Gary W Beard
What would the sentencing be if it was a judges member of family or a mp Hmmmmmmmm this country is a laughing stock of the world
There is a maximum sentence he can impose. That's probably it.
Oh well,as long as they're being jailed for up to 10 months,that's OK then!I knew of a group of Polish guys involved in this sort of scam and they thought it was a decent way of making money!
Well the claim companies should start going a bit deeper in the claims
Get rid of them
Anyone who commits a crime here or has committed a crime in any other country should be kicked out and banned for life
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I'm not sure if it includes crimes here but I once saw a program where the poles sent the military to collect criminals and return them to polish jails. Like i said I dont kno if that was just for crimes in poland