Woman faked supermarket fall to claim compensation

A DEWSBURY woman who pretended to fall over a pack of orange juice in a supermarket to falsely claim compensation has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Farida Ashraf, 41, of Staincliffe Crescent, was helped by two accomplices – who have never been identified – during the incident in 2013, when the pack was deliberately placed on the floor behind her in a Bradford supermarket. 

CCTV footage showed Ashraf ‘tripping’ over the pack before walking out of the store unaided.

She had hoped to pocket £3,000 from an injury claim without any questions being asked. 

She did not contact solicitors about the claim until eight or nine months after the incident, thinking nobody would have remembered it.

But CCTV from the Al-Halal premises on Woodhead Road had been kept and a six-year legal battle – costing tens of thousands of pounds – to prosecute Ashraf ensued.

Ashraf said she suffered injuries to her shoulder, shin, calf and hip. But in December 2016, after an inquiry by insurance company Aviva, a civic court judge ruled she had been “fundamentally dishonest”. 

Aviva pursued a private prosecution when the police and Crown Prosecution Service declined to start proceedings against the defendant.

Ashraf admitted a charge of fraud when the trial started last month.

Prosecuter Nicholas Lumley said: “It is, we think, the first private prosecution arising out of a public liability insurance claim.”

Judge David Hatton QC said: “You no doubt anticipated that the insurance company of the supermarket would pay up with little or no questions. Happily they did not.”

He sentenced Ashraf to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years. 

She will also be electronically tagged and must comply with a six-month curfew between 9pm and 6am.

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