Serial 'crash-for-cash' conman fails in freedom bid

A 'crash-for-cash' fraudster from Sunderland has failed to get his two-year jail term slashed despite turning his life around since giving in to temptation.

Friday, 29th January 2016, 8:54 pm
Updated Friday, 29th January 2016, 8:59 pm

Darren Straughan, 29, of Sunderland, was put behind bars at Newcastle Crown Court on September 21 last year.

Car accidents were 'staged' by Straughan and others in Sunderland, Durham and South Tyneside and false insurance claims made, Mr Justice Blake told London's Appeal Court.

Darren Straughan

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Straughan, who drove vehicles in four 'crash for cash' incidents between 2008-2011, admitted four counts of fraud and three of making a false statement.

His lawyers today argued his jail term was far too tough.

Mr Justice Blake accepted he had 'moved on with his life' since the frauds, undertaking re-training which qualified him for 'good work' in the offshore oil industry.

But the judge said such crimes 'caused great harm to the insurance industry, resulting in the premiums of law-abiding motorists being raised'.

Darren Straughan

'Regrettably', despite the progress Straughan had made, his punishment was 'not manifestly excessive', ruled the judge, who was sitting with Judge Paul Batty QC.

The appeal was dismissed.