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16 February 2013, 09:11
Five people have been sentenced for their involvement in a fatal road crash which happened in Denham on 11 June 2011.
Thames Valley Police are telling Heart the case which concluded at Reading Crown Court is the first of its kind in the country as the deliberately-caused crash arranged as part of a plan to commit insurance fraud led to a second crash causing the death of an innocent driver.
25-year-old Andrzej Boguslaw Skowron from Shelley Gardens, Wembley, has been sentenced to 10 years for causing death by dangerous driving and conspiracy to commit fraud.
24-year-old Radoslaw Piotr Bielawski from Rosewood Avenue, Greenford has been sentenced to 10 years and three months for causing death by dangerous driving and conspiracy to commit fraud. He pleaded guilty to doing acts tending to pervert the course of justice.
32-year-old Jacek Kowalczyk from Fraser Road, Perivale, Greenford, has been sentenced to 10 years and three months for causing death by dangerous driving, conspiracy to commit fraud and doing acts tending to pervert the course of justice.
23-year-old Artur Okrutny from Briar Road, London, has been sentenced to 12 months for doing acts tending to pervert the course of justice.
32-year-old Colin Lee from York Place, Aylesbury, has been sentenced to 12 months for causing death by careless driving. Lee was not involved in the plans to stage the collision but was the driver of the van that fatally collided with the victim.
The crash happened at around 8.25pm on Saturday 11 June 2011 on the A40 Western Avenue, between the Swakeley roundabout and Denham, heading out of London.
Two collisions took place in short succession of each other in lane three. Thames Valley Police say the first 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 occurred with an innocent Ford Transit Van and a Ford Fiesta, in order to claim personal injury compensation.
This staged crash then led to a second crash between a Renault Traffic van and the Fiesta, which resulted in the death of 34-year-old Baljinder Kaur Gill from Stanwell, near Staines.
Sgt James Upton, from the Thames Valley Police Road Death Investigation Team, said:
"The crash for cash culture has become more prevalent in our society, but this is the first known fatality as a result of an induced crash. Today's sentences should serve as a warning that there are severe consequences to those who commit this crime.
"The criminals who planned this crash had a total disregard for the safety of the innocent people they targeted. They also had the audacity to try to fraudulently claim compensation two days after the collision in the knowledge that an innocent person had died.
"Thames Valley Police and our partners are absolutely determined to identify and dismantle this type of organised criminality, bring the offenders to justice and keep our roads safe."