Former cage fighter Alex Reid was sentenced to eight weeks in jail for disobeying the court after lying in a testimony about a claim for damages in a car accident.
The High Court heard the 45-year-old sought approximately £ 20,000 in compensation in a district court after an Audi he drove was involved in a collision with another driver in January 2018.
Jeff Spicer via Getty ImagesAlex Reid pictured in 2019
As part of that claim, he said on an affidavit that he did not know any motorcyclist named Darren Summers who was alleged to have witnessed the accident.
However, the other car insurers, Axa Insurance UK, spotted an article on a local news website about an appearance Reid made at a mixed martial arts (MMA) master class in Ipswich in September 2017.
The article states that Mr. Summers, a former European and World Kickboxing champion, organized the event for charity.
Reid admitted the court’s contempt when Axa opened a lawsuit against him in January this year.
Justice Eady sentenced him to eight weeks in prison and said she had taken into account the mitigation put forward on his behalf, including the fact that his fiancée is six months pregnant and he was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
However, the judge said that only a term of imprisonment would reflect the seriousness of his dishonesty.
She said he would serve half of his sentence and the other half under license after his release.
Victoria Jones / PAReid arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, where he was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for disobeying the court
At the hearing on Wednesday, the judge said she agreed with Axa’s description of his actions as “a simple, deliberate and dishonest attempt to materially disrupt the administration of justice.”
The court heard that the collision occurred on January 29, 2018 and that Reid and the other driver blamed each other for it.
When Axa brought charges of dishonesty as part of her defense against Reid’s lawsuit in the district court, Reid dropped the case.
Tim Sharpe, who represented Axa, said the article on the MMA masterclass made it clear that Reid knew Mr. Summers and that they were “more than just passing acquaintances.”
However, he said that Reid’s testimony falsely stated that Mr. Summers was an independent witness to the collision, adding that this was “not a mere slip up”.
The attorney said the aim of the lie was “to establish Mr. Summers in the eyes of the insurance company and the court as someone whose evidence they can rely on as unrelated to the parties and to offer an independent account of the circumstances.” Collision “.
He told the court: “The false statement should increase (Reid’s) chances of proving his liability claim … and thereby asserting part or all of the compensation claim.”
Mr Sharpe also said that such fraudulent claims affect honest people as they lead to higher insurance premiums and delays in investigating real claims.
He drew the judge’s attention to evidence from the Association of British Insurers indicating that 55,000 dishonest motor insurance claims were found in 2018, valued at a total of £ 629 million.
The court heard that, given Reid’s admission of contempt, Axa believed that it was no longer in the public interest to initiate similar proceedings against Mr. Summers and withdrew the case.
Gary Pons, who represented Reid, highlighted the impact of a sentence on members of his family in need of his support, including his fiancée Nicola Manashe, who is six months pregnant with his child.
He told the judge that a number of people who had written letters in support of Reid’s “positive good character” described his charitable work and referred to him as a “kind, caring and loving man.”
The lawyer also drew the judge’s attention to the difficult conditions in the prisons as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions, which means that inmates will not be visited and remain in their cells for 23 hours a day.
He argued that given the effects of all these factors, any imprisonment should be suspended.
However, the judge said she considered everything that was said on Reid’s behalf about harm reduction, but it is in the interests of justice to impose an immediate sentence.
Reid was taken to the cells by the court’s senior officials at the end of the hearing.