After successfully prosecuting to conviction, the first trial of an inmate at HMP Manchester charged with Fraud, Louise Kitchin is to deliver a Seminar to staff from across the Prison Service to promote best practice within the Prison Service.
The Seminar will advise staff on how to implement their ground breaking Tackling Fraud Initiative.
The initiative was set up following a series of claims against the prison, which have been described by His Honour Judge Stockdale QC as “Fraudulent or extravagant personal injury claims brought in the hope they would not be defended and would result in a quick and easy payout.” He added, “Those perpetrating fraud will be prosecuted and convicted with serious consequences.”
Simon Cartwright, Governor of HMP Manchester echoed those sentiments, saying: “Any prisoners attempting to make false claims will be brought to justice. Collaboration with Greater Manchester Police combined with the outstanding engagement of staff working at Manchester, has seen a sharp decline in claims – an average 60 per cent reduction each quarter.”
Three cases have been pursued in the criminal courts and all three have resulted in criminal convictions. The first case involved attempting to pervert the course of Justice, and the prisoner, Noel Jennings, pleaded guilty, receiving a further 15 months imprisonment.
The second case involved Callum Foster who was charged with fraud and received 9 months to run consecutive to the sentence he was already serving.
A third prisoner has been found guilty of fraud after making a false personal injury claim while in HMP Manchester.
Andrew Curbishley claimed to have tripped and hurt his knee because of a missing piece of lino on a prison landing. However, witnesses saw him ‘act out’ the alleged accident, which came minutes after he joked to staff about the hazard.
When sentencing Curbishley to 28 days to run concurrently to serving an indeterminate sentence for Grievous Bodily Harm, Judge David Stockdale said: “You were convicted in my judgement on overwhelming evidence, as it seemed to me the evidence of the eyewitnesses was most compelling, and by their verdict the jury have accepted that evidence.
“This was a flagrant fraud on your part and it was quickly and swiftly spotted. I hope that the message goes out to those who might be tempted to follow your example –
A civil litigation expert from Lincoln House Chambers will also address the forum.