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Young man with no home lied about state of car to get cheaper car insurance

By NDJLauren  |  Posted: November 25, 2016

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Joel Farrell pleaded guilty to the charge

A young man with no home misled an insurance company about the state of his car to get cheaper insurance.

Joel Farrell, 20, with no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to making a false statement about his car in order to obtain insurance.

On January 8 in Ilfracombe, Farrell said his car has not been altered in any way from the makers' standard UK specification despite significant changes having been made.

MORE NEWS: Man accused of fraud appears before North Devon magistrates

On April 28 Farrell was involved in an accident on A361 and confirmed he was the owner and driver of a car with a 1.1 engine. He was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

When the car was inspected, it was found that the 1.1 engine had been replaced with a 1.6 GTI engine and the catalytic converter was missing.

A large capacity free flow exhaust had been fitted and the suspension had been lowered at the front and rear of the car.

A half roll cage had been fitted and the steering wheel with an airbag had been removed and replaced with one without an airbag. The external bodywork had been altered and 15" alloy wheels fitted.

Lyndsey Baker, for the prosecution, said Farrell informed his insurance company that no alterations had been made in order to get it cheaper, which he admitted to police.

She said: "The cost was reduced from £9,000 to £1,477.02 for his car. This was a fraudulent claim from the start. He was fully aware that his insurance would have significantly increased had he told the truth."

Nigel Treasaden, for the defence, said the defendant was a young man of previously good character.

He said: "He is interested in cars and was keen to get himself a performance car. He opted to buy a 1.1 with alterations as it was cheaper.

"He does accept he knew it was wrong to lie to the insurance company but didn't think about it being void if he had to make a claim. The accident was not caused by any of the alterations to the car or his driving.

"He is very sorry and knows he was foolish. He is selling off car parts from the vehicle in the accident."

The magistrates disqualified Farrell from driving for 12 months and gave him a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered him to pay £20 victim surcharge.

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