A GRANDMOTHER has been exposed as a liar and ordered to pay £70,000 after falsely claiming that a garage valeter tripped her up with a hosepipe.
Yvette Thomas, 54, pictured below, had tried to claim for up to £200,000 but lost a five-year battle with Southwick Service Centre in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
According to the Mirror, she alleged that she was deliberately tripped up by valeter Edward Slow when she took her daughter’s Mini Cooper in for an MOT in May 2012.
She had said that Slow had lifted the industrial braided steel hose, which was attached to a pressure washer, to trip her on purpose, causing her to fall on to a concrete step. As a result, she claimed, she cut her knees, ripped her clothes, hurt her wrists, broke her watch and had been left needing to use a walking stick. She even got her family to lie in statements to back up her claims, said the Mirror, which also reported that she claimed she had been sacked from her job as an account manager at the media company Archant.
Although Trowbridge District Hospital’s records showed that Thomas attended the accident and emergency department that day and had an X-ray, there was no injury.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) June 24, 2017
In July 2012, brothers Andrew and Matthew Gregory, who have run the centre for 20 years, were sent a letter advising them that she was starting legal proceedings. Among her lengthy list of claims were £96,110 for loss of earnings, £11,268 for daily care costs and £3,600 for the loss of use of a company car.
Southwick Service Centre denied that she had fallen and Slow said the hosepipe had only brushed against her leg when she walked past. Despite the garage being in the right, its insurer – NIG – had offered Thomas a settlement of £10,000 to avoid any court hassle but she refused and instead built up a long list of costs. The Mirror reported Rob Smart, head of commercial claims at NIG, as saying it subsequently didn’t hesitate in mounting a defence against what it called a ‘spurious, opportunistic’ claim.
Footage secretly filmed by the insurer showed that Thomas, of Trowbridge, only used a walking stick when she went for medical check-ups, reported The Mirror.
District Judge Francis Goddard threw her claim out at Bath County Court, saying he didn’t find her claim ‘in any way believable’ and told her to pay £70,000 in legal costs.
He added: ‘Something happened on that day that caused Mrs Thomas to come up with a version of events that . . . is quite implausible. It was not a pre-thought-out plan. The story put to the court germinated on that day and was elaborated upon over the months and years that followed.’
After the case, Matthew Gregory, 42, was quoted by the Mirror as saying: ‘Mrs Thomas made this whole thing up completely. We are just glad that we have cleared our name and that the truth has come out.’
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