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Gambling addict who claimed his van was stolen to use insurance money to fund habit ordered to pay back £7,000, after being caught out in Spalding

A gambler who claimed his van was stolen to use the insurance payout to fund his habit has been ordered to repay almost £7,000.

Paul Edward Moyses must also carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

The 49-year-old carpet fitter’s plan came undone after police stopped his vehicle in Spalding and realised he was driving with number plates that had previously been de-registered from the vehicle.

Boston Magistrates' Court
Boston Magistrates' Court

“On April 27 (2023) the defendant reported having his Transit van stolen from a layby where it had broken down,” prosecutor Turan Sunat told Boston Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

“For the value of the van Hastings Direct paid him £6,071.”

On October 27 the defendant was stopped driving his van by police.

A roadside check revealed the van’s index number matched that of a vehicle that had previously been reported stolen.

“The defendant changed the registration plates to the ones previously belonging to the van,” Mr Sunat added.

“The reason was he had made a false insurance claim and he was covering his tracks’.

Moyses pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and fraudulently using a registration mark.

In mitigation, Lisa Elkington said Moyses had received a ‘serious wake up call’.

She explained he had bought the van from a scrap dealer to fix up, and when he came to tax it the DVLA advised he change the plate number.

“He made the insurance claim to get money to pay towards his gambling addiction,” Mrs Elkington continued.

“This was not a sophisticated offence and he was caught quite soon after.”

A probation report told the court Mpoyses had a ‘gambling problem for many years’.

“Over the last few years his addiction has worsened and he would gamble daily and gamble everything he earned,” the report continued.

“He owed about £2,500 to family and friends and felt pressured to pay people back.”

The report added Moyses had the support of his partner who was helping him fight his addiction, and that he had self excluded himself from his local bookmakers and blocked gambling apps on his electronic devices.

For fraud by false representation, Moyses, of Temple Grange, Werrington, Peterborough, was handed a 12-month community order, including 15 rehabilitation days and 120 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay £6,664 in compensation to Hastings Direct, to cover the pay out and additional fees.

There was no separate penalty for the fraudulent registration plates.

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