England

Sussex family made false £1.5m fraud claim

Relatives of a woman hit by a bus in Sussex have been found guilty of contempt of court over false statements made in a £1.5m damages claim.

Thereza Daoud, 55, of Hove, suffered serious head injuries in the collision in November 2005.

Mrs Daoud's husband, Nabil Tadrous, 63, and daughter Sherihan Brooks, 30, from Guildford could face prison after claiming she was a "virtual cripple".

Another daughter, Merihan Tynan, 28, was acquitted of all charges.

Mrs Daoud had emergency surgery following the collision and went home after convalescence and rehabilitation.

Brighton & Hove Bus & Coach Company told the High Court she was held out to be a "disabled wreck of a woman" when she was actually much fitter.

Surveillance DVDs

Lord Justice Richards and Mrs Justice Nicola Davies were told 26 months of secret surveillance by private inquiry agents revealed she was in fact physically fit and mobile, or at least very much fitter than her family held her out to be.

The bus company had accused Mrs Daoud's two married daughters and her husband of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The judges said the court rejected that the whole claim was grossly exaggerated, but "a deliberately false picture" was given to experts preparing reports for the insurers.

A further hearing will be held to decide on "appropriate sanctions".

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