‘Pothole’ man jailed after trying to con Havering Council out of compensation

�Aman and his two accomplices have been jailed for their part in a scam to con thousands of pounds in compensation from Havering Council.

Marc Bowyer, 27, of Rush Green, was jailed for two months on Friday after falsely claiming he broke his ankle in a pothole, according to a press release from Havering Council.

He had actually jumped off a wall while walking home from a 2006 World Cup party.His friend James Jones, of Dagenham, was jailed for one month.

Jones had made the 999 call and supported Bowyer’s claim.

They both pleased guilty to contempt of court at The Royal Courts of Justice, last Tuesday.

Richard Bowyer, Marc’s father, had claimed he had nothing to do with the scam but the 59-year-old was found guilty of the same charge on Thursday and was sentenced to four months in prison.

The con, which Bowyer continued to pursue for four years, started out after he and Jones had been out for the evening at a party at a friend’s house – the night England played Paraguay in the 2006 World Cup finals.

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On their way home in the early hours of June 11, Bowyer was injured, sustaining a double fracture to his ankle.

He claimed his injuries were caused by tripping on a pothole outside Hornchurch Sports Centre, in Hornchurch Road.

Jones, who called an ambulance, backed up the story, as did Bowyer’s father, and a compensation claim against the council was launched.

On initial evidence, the council accepted liability and began to value the claim. However, officers became suspicious when written A&E records from the ambulance team stated that Bowyer had fallen from a wall.

And the ambulance found Bowyer and his friend near a lake in Harrow Lodge Park, a considerable distance from the pothole where he claimed he tripped.

Havering Council heard the original 999 call from Jones, who asked paramedics to come because his friend had jumped off a wall and broken his foot.

Havering withdrew the admission of liability and defended the claim.

Bowyer finally withdrew his compensation claim in October 2010, over four years after the incident.

After the hearing, Cabinet member for value, Cllr Roger Ramsey, said: “Mr Bowyer claimed that he tripped on pothole but when we looked into it, it seems the only hole is in his story.”

“This case could have cost Havering Council well over �100,000. This is local taxpayers’ money and officers’ time which could be better spent on front-line services for the elderly and vulnerable. Claims against the public purse which are found to be fraudulent should be pursued in the strongest manner and the people responsible prosecuted.