Back in May I reported on the case of Barbari Fari, who was considered to be a dishonest personal injury Claimant and I can now update you that both her and her husband have been found in contempt of Court and given custodial sentences.
Mrs Fari had been pursuing a personal injury claim against Haringey Council, after falling over damaged paving.
The council defended the matter on the grounds that whilst she may have had a genuine injury case, the claim she had made was greatly exaggerated.
At that time the Judge, His Honour Judge Mitchell, in the Central London Court, agreed with the Defendant barrister and decided that her injury claim was worth substantially less than the £750,000 claimed, in fact, it was probably worth about £1,500.
The Defendant barrister asked the Court to strike out the Claimant’s case due to her exaggeration and also to consider bringing criminal action against Mrs Fari and for the matter to be transferred to the High Court to consider contempt proceedings, which HHJ Mitchell did.
That case was heard this month and the High Court Judge, Mr Justice Spencer, found both Mrs Fari and her husband, who had provided evidence in support of her injury claim, were in contempt of Court.
Whilst the Claimant said that she did not understand the extent of the personal injury claim due to being illiterate, the Judge’s comments were disparaging in that he said “Although lacking in formal education and literacy skills, she’s nobody’s fool. I’m quite sure she’s capable of playing upon her educational and physical weaknesses when it suits her.”
He further said that she had been “thoroughly dishonest” and “The courts have made it clear that those who make false claims and are caught out must go to prison. There is no other way to underline the gravity of such conduct and deter those who would make such claims (which) undermine the administration of justice in a number of serious ways.”
Mrs Fari was sentenced to 3 months in prison (although she was given until the 29th of November 2013 to appeal) and her husband was given 2 months in prison suspended for 12 months.
Additionally, the Judge ordered the couple to pay legal costs of over £100,000.
This may or may not be a one-off, but the Courts have now sent out a clear signal that such fraudulent activity from Claimants will not be tolerated.