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James Laughland, on instructions from Gary Orritt of DAC Beachcroft, today secured findings of contempt of court against husband and wife, Harjit Singh Kapoor and Kuljit Kaur Kapoor of Brentford, London.
They belatedly admitted contempt of court by the making of false Statements of Truth in relation to a County Court claim arising out of a deliberately induced road traffic accident and by making subsequent fraudulent claims for damages for personal injury and credit hire charges.
Mr Justice Julian Knowles imposed sentences of 12 months and 9 months respectively on them. Mrs Kapoor’s sentence was suspended for 12 months. They were also ordered to pay costs of some £40,000.
They had originally brought a County Court claim for whiplash and credit hire charges relating to an accident that occurred in July 2013. By the time of trial the credit hire charges claimed were in excess of £175,000. The claim was successfully defended in the Mayor’s & City of London Court in June 2016 on the basis that the collision had been deliberately induced in a slam-on / induced style accident. The Defendant’s driver felt he had been the victim of “a scam” from the outset and gave evidence both in the County Court and High Court.
After dismissal of the County Court claim DAC Beachcroft’s client gave instructions for the matter to be pursued further, through an application for the Kapoors’ committal for contempt of court.
In their initial defence of the allegations of contempt, Mr and Mrs Kapoor sought to blame the credit hire company and their former solicitors, claiming that they had simply signed various documents verified by Statements of Truth without reading any of them and without being aware of their contents. James Laughland argued that this explanation – even if true, which was disputed – could not exonerate them from the charge of acting in contempt of court. By signing a Statement of Truth they were required to have an honest belief in the contents of the facts stated therein. Wilful ignorance of the contents was not acceptable.
In the event, two days before the final hearing, both Mr and Mrs Kapoor admitted that the collision had been deliberately induced and that all claims arising therefore from were fraudulent.