On May 10, following the pursuit of criminal proceedings against former employee Firefighter Anthony Smith, by South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority and their Insurance Company Zurich, judgement was reached by the High Court, London on the committal proceedings. 

The 37-year-old father was awarded thousands in severance and sick pay from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and put in a £25,000 compensation claim. His claim was thrown out when it was discovered that a month after the accident he took a written taxi test and within four months was working as a self-employed taxi driver in Cardiff. 

The Court held that following consideration of the evidence and the admission of Anthony Smith, Anthony Smith was convicted of contempt and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years to allow him time to pay South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority £10,000 of the £24,000 debt he owes, in addition to the money already held by SWFRS. 

The case was brought following the collapse of AS's claim for personal injury following an alleged accident at work and the successful counterclaim by the Fire and Rescue Authority to recover the money it had paid to AS in sick pay whilst still in employment. 

The Chairman of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Cllr Anthony Ernestsaid: "We are very pleased with the outcome of this case. It sends a very clear message that we, as an Authority, will not tolerate dishonest behaviour by our employees and will take the necessary action when this is exhibited. In addition it demonstrates that we will not condone inappropriate use of pubic funds and will pursue recovery where this occurs." 

Mick Bowles, Casualty Claims Technical Manager said: "We are pleased at the successful outcome of the hearing which justifies the decision to pursue committal Proceedings for Contempt of Court.  As one of the country's leading insurers, we do not tolerate dishonest activity and will continue to take appropriate steps to combat fraudulent claims or claimants which causes higher premiums for all our law abiding customers." 


Posted: 08.51am, 16.05.11