Josh Hedgman was recently instructed by a defendant in an appeal against the trial Judge’s refusal to find fundamental dishonesty.
At trial before Deputy District Judge Shelton, it was found that (i) the Claimant had exaggerated his injuries by a period of more than 9 months and (ii) the Claimant had supported a claim made by his wife who was found not to have been in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Despite making those findings, the Deputy Judge refused to find fundamental dishonesty because he ‘could not be sure’ that a third party or claims management company had not influenced the Claimant.
On appeal before Her Honour Judge Clarke, Josh successfully submitted that the Deputy Judge had misdirected himself as to the standard of proof in his requirement to be satisfied, to a certainty, that no third party had been involved. Further and in any event, HHJ Clarke agreed that it was perverse of the Deputy Judge to speculate as to whether or not a claims management company had been involved in the absence of any evidence. It was more perverse still to attach any weight to such involvement because it did not erode the dishonest evidence given by the Claimant in the witness box.
The finding of fundamental dishonesty was made on appeal and the Defendant recovered its costs of the trial and of the appeal.