This is an example of a fraud involving a Rolls Royce, a rental truck and a ficticious motorcycle.
A Rolls Royce was alleged to have been parked at the side of a country lane when it was struck by a rental truck. The driver of the rental truck (the Defendant) alleged that a motorcycle approached him too quickly and out of control whilst emerging from a left-hand bend. As a consequence, the truck driver swerved to his right and collided with the nearside of the Rolls Royce. According to an assessor, the Rolls Royce had a pre-accident value of £32,000.
GBB was instructed to examine the Rolls Royce together with photographs of the rental truck and establish:
• The pre-accident condition of the Rolls Royce.
• The likelihood of the collision occurring as alleged.
• The likelihood of the collision occurring at all.
A thorough investigation by GBB established the following facts:
1. With the use of eddy current sensors, large areas of filler were detected beneath the painted surface of the Rolls Royce. Filler was also visible on the damaged surfaces. The Rolls Royce had been ‘restored’ using copious amount of filler and its true value prior to the collision was nearer to £10,000.
2. An examination of the damage to both vehicles revealed that they had come into contact. However, the damage was not consistent with a single impact. There had been contact between the two vehicles, but the rental truck had struck the Rolls Royce twice and the two contacts could not have both been accidental.
3. The involvement of a motor cycle was fanciful. The expert in the case had been a police motorcyclist and the description given by the Defendant could not have occurred despite the owner of the Rolls Royce (the Claimant) saying they ‘had seen a motorcycle’.
On the basis of the evidence uncovered by GBB, it appeared that the Claimant had realised that she had bought a ‘pup’ and in an attempt to recover some of her money she had arranged for the Rolls Royce to be struck by the truck to damage it beyond repair. The rental truck had struck the Rolls Royce twice because the damage from the first impact was not great enough to have the vehicle written-off.
It was expected that the insurance company would pay the Claimant according to the assessor’s valuation of the Rolls Royce. An out-of-control motorcycle was simply an invention to provide a cause for the collision between the rental truck and the Rolls Royce.
The claim was brought before Liverpool County Court and finally heard in February 2007. The claim was dismissed.