Baljinder Kaur Gill Death: Gang Members Found Guilty Over 'Crash For Cash'

Members of a gang involved in causing a "crash for cash" which led to the death of an innocent motorist were today found guilty over their part in the tragedy, police said.

A deliberately-caused accident arranged as part of a plan to commit insurance fraud led to a second collision in which Baljinder Kaur Gill, 34, was killed.

Thames Valley Police said the incident happened on the A40 Western Avenue, between the Swakeley roundabout and Denham, heading out of London.

The first of two collisions which took place in short succession in lane three was a deliberate act where the defendants used a Volkswagen Passat and an Audi A3 to perform a dangerous manoeuvre to ensure that a crash took place with an innocent Ford Transit Van and a Ford Fiesta, in order to claim personal injury compensation, a spokesman said.

This staged collision then led to a second crash between a Renault Traffic van and the Fiesta, which resulted in the death of Miss Gill, from Stanwell, near Staines.

Andrzej Boguslaw Skowron, 25, from Shelley Gardens, Wembley, was convicted at Reading Crown Court of causing death by dangerous driving and conspiracy to commit fraud, the spokesman said.

Radoslaw Piotr Bielawski, 24, from Rosewood Avenue, Greenford, was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and conspiracy to commit fraud. He had already pleaded guilty to doing acts tending to pervert the course of justice.

Jacek Kowalczyk, 32, from Fraser Road, Perivale, Greenford, was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, conspiracy to commit fraud and doing acts tending to pervert the course of justice.

Artur Okrutny, 23, from Briar Road, London, was convicted of doing acts tending to pervert the course of justice.

Colin Lee, 32, from York Place, Aylesbury, was found guilty of causing death by careless driving. Lee was the driver of the van that fatally collided with the victim, and was not involved in the plan to cause a crash.

Sgt Jim Upton, from the Three Mile Cross roads policing department, said: "This was a despicable act which led to the tragic death of an innocent motorist. The actions of these men who set out to induce a collision at speed on a 70mph limit road were always likely to lead to death or serious injury.

"They were purely motivated by greed and a determination to abuse the compensation culture that is prevalent in crash for cash.

"This is believed to be the first case of its kind within the United Kingdom and it has been a long, complex and protracted investigation. However, we were clear at an early stage that this was a very unusual fatal collision and we were determined to bring all those responsible to justice.

"I hope that the verdict provides the family of the victim with the sense that some justice has been done. They have been through a horrendous ordeal by the selfish actions of these men.

"Colin Lee was not involved in the plans to stage a collision for financial greed. However, his van collided with the stationary Fiesta."

Baljit Ubhey, chief crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "Miss Gill lost her life on 11 June 2011, as a consequence of a 'crash for cash' insurance scam collision on the A40 near Denham, Buckinghamshire; a collision contrived by a ruthless gang of men, so that they could profit financially from the submission of fraudulent insurance claims.

"Her death was Britain's first fatality as a result of 'crash for cash'.

"An earlier report from the Insurance Fraud Bureau warned it was merely a matter of time before a death occurred on British roads - sadly prophetic words. The location chosen for the staged collision created an obvious risk that an innocent motorist would be killed as a result of their greed.

"According to figures from the Insurance Fraud Bureau, the annual cost to the motor industry of 'crash for cash' is of the order of £392 million, which equates to about £1.7 million per day.

"The risk that these defendants took with the lives of innocent motorists such as Miss Gill was enormous. The potential advantage to them was comparatively small. Whiplash to three of them would have secured them between £12-15,000, plus whatever damage was done to their car. They selfishly placed their own financial gain over and above the life of Miss Gill."

The men have been bailed until February to be sentenced at Reading Crown Court.

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