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Man who staged car crash with partner then pretended not to know her is sent to jail

His wife has been spared jail. “Somebody has to mind the children,” the judge said.

Image: Associated Press

A MAN WHO staged a car crash with his partner while they were pretending to be strangers as part of an attempted insurance fraud has been jailed for one year.

The attempted fraud by David Ward (30) and Lynsey Ivory (27) was discovered when the insurance company saw that they appeared in each other’s Facebook profile pictures, a court has heard.

Ward was the front seat passenger in an Opel Corsa which rear-ended the Volkswagen Passat that Ivory was driving.

Today Judge Martin Nolan suspended one year of a two year sentence on Ward after noting his previous convictions. He said that there must be some deterrence for this type of crime.

He suspended fully the two year sentence for Ivory noting she has no previous convictions and that “somebody has to mind the children”.

Ward and Ivory of The Beeches, Clonshaugh, Priorswood, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempting to dishonestly by deception cause a loss to FBD Insurance on dates between July 22, 2013 and January 1, 2014.

Pretended to be strangers

Both of them claimed to be suffering injury from the collision but denied to gardaí, who arrived to investigate the crash, that they knew each other.

They were transferred to hospital in the same ambulance during which they continued to pretend to be strangers.

Both Ward and Ivory later submitted a personal injury claim to FBD Insurance during which they again denied knowing the occupants of the other vehicle.

They both made voluntary statements to gardaí outlining what had happened and stating that the people in the other car were strangers.

Foiled by Facebook

Garda Neill Plunkett told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that a claims handler with FBD examined both Ward’s and Ivory’s Facebook accounts, having received their claims and noted that they appeared in each other’s profile pictures.

The gardaí were contacted and when officers arrived at Ivory’s home to arrest her for questioning Ward answered the door.

The court heard that if the couple’s claim had been successful they could each have been awarded up to €15,000.

Ward has seven previous convictions for offences including criminal damage and theft, while Ivory has no convictions.

The couple have two children and have since married.

Suspicious

Garda Plunkett told Judge Nolan that he had been suspicious of the couple’s claims that they were strangers from his first investigation of the collision on Corballis Road, Donabate on July 22, 2013.

He said Ivory told him she had been rear-ended and the driver of the car Ward was travelling in admitted that he had been speeding around a bend on the road and hadn’t seen the Passat until it was too late.

Garda Plunkett said the damage caused to both vehicles was inconsistent with the account he was given and the air bags had not been deployed in either vehicle as would be expected.

He said Ivory was still sitting in the driver’s seat when he arrived on the scene and she was complaining of neck and back pain. Her passenger, who later transpired to be the wife of the man who was driving the car Ward was in, said she was uninjured.

Ward, who was the front seat passenger of the second vehicle, confirmed his friend’s account of how the crash had occurred.

He was removed from the Corsa on a spinal board and was complaining of back pain.

Garda Plunkett said the couple later submitted separate personal injury claims to FBD and provided medical documentation with their applications. It was during the processing of their applications that a handler examined their Facebook accounts and spotted the connection.

Read: Gardaí investigating after gun is found at Luas office

Read: Software pirate ordered to make a viral video to avoid paying a major fine

About the author:

Sonya McClean

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