South East Wales

Six family members in 'crash for cash' fraud trial

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Media captionSix family members in 'crash for cash' fraud trial

Six members of the same family have appeared in court on fraud charges after allegedly claiming compensation for car crashes which never happened.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the fraud was committed over a "significant scale over a long period of time" and involved 87 different people.

The prosecution said the case related to 28 separate insurance claims.

Byron, Peter, Rachel, Gavin and Michelle Yandell and Jennifer Cosh from Caerphilly deny the charges.

The court heard the alleged frauds, collectively known as "crash for cash", were committed between 2009 and 2011.

'Unluckiest family'

Prosecuting barrister Christopher Clee QC said not one of the insurance applications was genuine and it was a "well established, well coordinated, thoroughly dishonest scheme".

The jury heard the Yandell family ran a motor repair garage at Unit D, St David's industrial estate in Pengam, Caerphilly.

Between them, they said they were involved in 15 collisions in less than two years.

"If all the claims were genuine, they may qualify as the unluckiest family in south Wales," Mr Clee said.

He told the court the Yandells' garage claimed to have repaired the vehicles involved and received payments from insurance companies for the repairs and providing courtesy cars.

'Collision upon collision'

The drivers and passengers received compensation for personal injuries.

The prosecution said this involved "the same people having collision upon collision involving friends and family members".

Mr Clee told the jury that "not once were the emergency services called" and that many of the collisions were said to have happened on similar stretches of road - six on Pengam Rd, four on New Road, Oakdale, and seven on the A469 between Thornhill and Gilfach.

Many of the vehicles involved had "dubious histories" with high mileage, failed MOTs and numerous changes of ownership.

The trial continues and is expected to last up to six weeks.