PCSO and her husband are jailed for three months after they pretended their Range Rover had been stolen so he could claim on the insurance
- Fiona, 33, and Darren, 37, Price lied to police and insurance company about car
A police community support office (PCSO) and her husband have been jailed after they pretended their Range Rover had been stolen so they could claim on the insurance.
Fiona and Darren Price have both been locked up for three months after conning insurers to pay out – but not her former colleagues who unravelled the scam, Bradford Crown Court was told.
The 33-year-old mother of three was training to become a Criminal Investigation Dept (CID) officer in Leeds at the time of the investigation and her career has ended up ‘in tatters’.
A court heard their posh car had become ‘a burden’ for the couple and in August they were shocked to be told it needed £2,000 of repairs.
Rather than part with the cash, Darren Price, 37, arranged for a friend to ‘dispose’ of the vehicle, which was never seen again after August 6.
Fiona and Darren Price, pictured outside Bradford Crown Court, have been jailed for three months after they pretended their Range Rover had been stolen so they could claim on the insurance
33-year-old mother of three, pictured outside court, was training to become a Criminal Investigation Dept (CID) officer in Leeds
But two weeks later Fiona Price, a West Yorkshire officer, reported the Range Rover stolen to North Yorkshire Police.
She lied that the Range Rover had been stolen from a lay-by while the family had been out walking in the Burnsall area, the court heard.
Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said she also submitted an insurance claim for the vehicle, telling the company the same lie.
Mr Sharp said: ‘It was a planned attempt, initially successful, by each of these defendants to paint a wholly false picture and it was motivated by the fact that the Range Rover needed repairs.’
Her former colleagues were immediately suspicious and checks on automatic number plate recognition equipment and phone cell-site evidence revealed the couple had travelled to Burnsall in a relative’s Renault Clio.
The pair, of West Ardsley, Wakefield, were arrested in August last year, but when quizzed in November had ‘the audacity’ to accuse and criticise the investigators for causing them ’embarrassment and stress’.
At a previous hearing in July, they admitted the conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Recorder Alex Menary was told sudden bereavements and family turmoil had affected their judgement.
Mitigating Barrister Glenn Parsons, for Fiona Price, said it was a sad case in which two otherwise intelligent and hard-working people had ‘entered into an escapade that was bound to fail’.
He argued the couple had suffered a ‘catastrophic breakdown’ in their thinking and Price had resigned in disgrace.
The lawyer added: ‘The career she held so dear is in tatters. She had qualified to be a detective constable and had a bright future ahead of her.’
Bradford Crown Court (pictured) heard the couple had arranged for a friend to ‘dispose’ of the vehicle, which was never seen again after August 6. They then claimed it had been stolen
But rejecting defence pleas for a suspended sentence, Recorder Menary said they had thrown everything away over an unwillingness to pay for the repairs to the car.
He told the couple: ‘Rather than pay for the repairs you agreed to make a false claim for theft on the insurance policy.’
The judge added their audacity in criticising the investigation ‘beggars belief’ and found it hard to believe the crime was impulsive.
He said he ‘shuddered to think’ how much police time and resources were wasted investigating a theft that never was.
He continued: ‘This was calculated and planned offending. It was not spur of the moment.
‘It was an attempt to defraud your insurer. This case cries out for a deterrent sentence in my judgement.
‘As an act of mercy I reduce the sentences to three months. They will be served immediately.’
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