A FOURTEENTH member of a “cash for crash” gang from South Tyneside who staged an accident during a spoof stag do has walked free from court.
Nathan Dadswell, 30, played a “particularly stupid” role in the scam, which saw a 16-strong gang of friends damage a minibus before driving it to the scene of the “crash” then claim for whiplash injuries.
A second vehicle was also purposely damaged and the defendants had claimed it was involved in the “smash” but the court heard it had never been anywhere near the minibus.
Dadswell, of Crofton Street, South Shields, pretended to be a passenger in the minibus that the group claimed was heading to Edinburgh for a stag-weekend.
He was taken to North Tyneside Hospital in one of six ambulances that had raced to the scene of the pretend accident on the north bound slip road of the A193 near the Tyne Tunnel, North Tyneside, after one of the men dialled 999 at 7.45pm on August 19, 2009.
Dadswell, along with the other 15 people involved, made a whiplash claim to insurance company Aviva, which had set aside £134,000 in compensation for the group before the scam was discovered.
James Adkin, prosecuting, said: “This was a cash for crash. They falsified an accident. Sixteen people pretended to have been in the collision on August 19.”
Paul Currer, defending, said: “He wishes me on his behalf to express his remorse for the consequences of his actions. He had the sense to leave the hospital before he was examined, realising the farcical nature of the situation.
Dadswell pleaded guilty to one count of fraud at Newcastle Crown Court.
Sentencing him to nine months in prison, suspended for 12 months, Judge David Wood said: “Your offence was a particularly stupid one.
He was also given 150 hours’ unpaid work and was fined £360.
Thirteen other people involved in the scam were sentenced on May 10, but Dadswell’s barrister had been unavailable on that date.