*Judge Francis Comerford suspended the sentence in full.
AN INSURANCE broker business worker who forged documentation in a fraudulent €9,000 insurance claim from a genuine road traffic accident has narrowly avoided being sent to jail.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Francis Comerford imposed a three year six month prison term on Niamh Glynn (35) of Bealcragga, Kilmaley, Co Clare but suspended the prison sentence in full.
Judge Comerford said that Ms Glynn has brought disgrace on herself but said “I don’t feel society is best served by sending her to prison”.
Judge Comerford also noted that Ms Glynn has health difficulties.
Ms Glynn pleaded guilty to a charge of forgery and a second of making a gain and causing a loss for another arising from deception with both counts under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act on dates after the road traffic accident in Kilmaley on November 29th 2020.
Ms Glynn also pleaded guilty driving without insurance on November 29th 2020.
Judge Comerford said that Ms Glynn had engaged in “premeditated criminality” and “serious offending” in the fraudulent insurance claim.
Judge Comerford said that the €9,000 was obtained by fraud and by forging documents.
At the time of the road traffic accident in November 2020, Ms Glynn was uninsured as her policy was cancelled on October 13th 2020 due to non-payment.
Judge Comerford said that at the time, Ms Glynn had two previous convictions for driving without insurance though there was a question over the second conviction.
The judge stated that Ms Glynn had sought a quote for a new insurance policy on October 29th 2020 but continued to drive un-insured and was un-insured when she was involved in a rear-ending accident with another vehicle when driving her then boyfriend’s car on November 27th 2020.
At the time of the accident, Ms Glynn – who no longer works in the insurance business – showed Gardaí her cancelled insurance policy though on its face it showed that it was in force.
Judge Comerford said that perhaps to stave off a fresh prosecution for no insurance but more significantly to make a fraudulent claim from the accident, Ms Glynn within 20 minutes of the accident contacted the brokerage she worked at and activated the insurance policy she had got a quote for and got them to back date the policy from the previous day.
Judge Comerford said that Ms Glynn provided false information to the insurance company and put the time of day of the accident after when she would have activated the policy.
Judge Comerford said that Ms Glynn then went to the Gardai with the new fraudulent policy to show that she was covered for the accident.
Judge Comerford said that Ms Glynn received payment of €9,000 from the fraudulent claim and gave the money to the owner of the car, her then boyfriend.
Judge Comerford stated that “just because you don’t get the money you have stolen, that doesn’t reduce the culpability for stealing the money in the first place. This money was obtained by fraud and by forging documents”.
Judge Comerford said that Ms Glynn tried to mislead the Gardaí on two occasions.
Judge Comerford stated that Ms Glynn’s then partner may or may have been aware that the money was the proceeds of fraud from the damage to his car.
Judge Comerford noted that the man “clearly isn’t going to pay the money back”.
Judge Comerford said that “unless he was aware that the money was obtained by fraud, there is nothing wrong with him taking that money”.
Judge Comerford stated that the criminal conduct and culpability rests with Niamh Glynn “and it is serious offending, the first offence may have been a spur of the moment on the road but the offending after that was not spur of the moment”.