Miss England jailed for false claim

A model who previously competed in Miss England and played semi-professional football has been jailed for two months after she lied to her insurance company, falsely claiming she had been injured in a car crash.

Amy Laban, 25, claimed to have whiplash and demanded £3,000 compensation, whilst simultaneously training for a charity skydive and playing football regularly.

After investigators uncovered the fraud, Laban pleaded guilty to contempt of court but claimed she only lied because a claims company had put pressure on her to demand a payout.

The model was jailed by the High Court alongside Laura Hazeldine, 24, over claims the pair filed in the wake of a traffic accident in Birmingham in April 2012.

Laban claimed £3,000 from insurance firm Esure, however the company hired investigators to ensure that her claim was genuine. Upon investigating her claim, a picture of Laban riding a mechanical rodeo bull, was posted online just weeks after the crash which she claimed had seriously restricted her mobility.

When Laban failed to attend a series of medical appointments, lawyers Horwich Farrelly, acting on behalf of Esure, successfully applied for the High Court to dismiss the claims.

The court then brought contempt hearings against Laban and Hazeldine, accusing them of lying about the vehicle’s occupants at the time of the collision and falsifying the details of their injuries.

The pair pleaded guilty two months ago, after Laban admitted making up her claim after receiving a string of nuisance calls from firms specialising in compensation claims.

In a statement Laban said she was ‘young, vulnerable, stupid, but also taken advantage of by a claims company’, while Hazeldine confessed that she ‘stupidly and naïvely’ went along with the suggestion.

The pair were sentenced to two months’ jail each, and rising over the case judge Nigel Godsmark said, ‘The claim was fraudulent right from the start.

‘People think this is a victimless crime – however, it uses the courts’ resources to facilitate the crime, it uses insurers’ resources. Genuine claimants have the eye of suspicion cast on their claims.

‘The courts have stressed repeatedly that those who commit this must receive prison sentences.’