Traffic cop faces jail for bogus insurance claim

PUBLISHED: 12:02 05 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 May 2010

Richard Wilmot-Day

Richard Wilmot-Day

A TRAFFIC cop who told lie after lie in an attempt to bully an insurance company into paying him more than £1,000 was facing a jail sentence today (Thursday). Richard Wilmot-Day thought he could outsmart the insurers by claiming he had bought and fitted p

A TRAFFIC cop who told lie after lie in an attempt to bully an insurance company into paying him more than £1,000 was facing a jail sentence today (Thursday).

Richard Wilmot-Day thought he could outsmart the insurers by claiming he had bought and fitted parts for his motorbike after it had been involved in a minor road accident.

It was a lie but for months the police constable stuck to his story, even creating a phoney invoice to back up his lies.

But the insurance company smelt a rat and disputed his claims.

As a result Wilmot-Day, 49, a traffic officer with Hertfordshire Police, fought the matter all the way to a county court where he even lied to a judge about how he had bought parts for his motorbike.

Today Wilmot-Day was due to appear at St Albans Crown Court after a jury last month found him guilty of using a false instrument and doing acts tending or intended to pervert the course of justice.

Gordon Aspden, prosecuting, said in his opening to the jury: "He was involved in a road traffic accident and afterwards he pretended he had bought and fitted replacement parts on his motorcycle when in fact he had done neither."

The prosecutor said Wilmot-Day forged an invoice and sent it to the insurance company so that they would think it genuine and pay him £1,253 to which he was not entitled.

It was on April 1, 2003, as Wilmot-Day was riding his BMW motorbike to work through Biggleswade, that a woman driver pulled out of her drive and into his path.

He swerved and came off the bike and suffered minor injuries. There was also minor damage to his crash helmet and machine.

In the days and weeks that followed Wilmot-Day, who lives between Biggleswade and Dunton, wrote a number of letters to the woman's insurance company - Churchill - pointing out that she accepted blame and now he wanted prompt payment for the parts for his motorbike which had been damaged.

He upped the amount being claimed and demanded interest on it - a tactic intended to put pressure on the insurers to deal with the matter quickly and with the minimum of fuss.

In a letter from a Churchill fraud investigator to Wilmot-Day in August 2003 he was told he had in effect been "rumbled".

Even so he still didn't drop his claim, but went ahead and issued county court proceedings.

In March 2004 Hitchin County Court awarded him the sum he was claiming but the insurers appealed and at Luton County Court Wilmot-Day was asked a series of questions by Judge Hamilton and told a number of lies, said Mr Aspden.

Shown the forged invoice he said he had never seen it before. He said it must have been created "by someone else to put him in a bad light".

After his arrest, a search of his home revealed the invoice from 2002 which had been used to create the forgery.

The motorbike was examined by an expert who said none of the components were new or had been replaced.

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