Thursday 27 October 2016

'I've apologised enough in court and elsewhere' says mum rumbled on Facebook for fake car crash scam

Lynsey Ivory (27) and David Ward (30) of The Beeches, Clonshaugh, Priorswood, Dublin, appearing at court yesterday
Lynsey Ivory (27) and David Ward (30) of The Beeches, Clonshaugh, Priorswood, Dublin, appearing at court yesterday

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

The 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.

Lynsey Ivory denied she had been made take part in the scam by her husband outside court yesterday.

Speaking to The Star, she said she was thankful that the judge had not jailed her and would be focusing her energies on her children.

"I manage getting them to school and everything like that. So I just have to be strong now for the kids", she said.

She said she had "apologised enough in court and elsewhere" for her part in the scam.

She added that she is 'hopeful' her husband will be released from prison in the coming months.

Yesterday, 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.

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 driver of the other car was a stranger.

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.

Gda Plunkett told Judge Martin Nolan that he had been suspicious of the couple's claims that they were strangers from his first investigation.

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