An insurance broker who was found dead in a field had some years before "set up" a car crash which cost an insurance company almost £60,000 to settle injury claims, a court heard yesterday. Michael Godfrey, who had pocketed more than 10 per cent of fraudulent claims he staged, was found seven years ago shot twice in the head and dumped in a field at Finglas, Dublin, the Circuit Civil Court was told.
The President of the Circuit Court, Mr Justice Esmond Smyth, heard the fraudulent claims came to light when gardai were investigating the murder of Godfrey, who had lived with his niece, Yvonne, and her partner, Michael O'Connell, at North Circular Road, Dublin.
Judge Smyth ordered Yvon ne Godfrey, Deanstown Drive, Finglas West, Dublin, to repay Cornhill Insurance more than £22,000. Mr James McArdle, for Cornhill, said she had been paid £17,000 damages to settle a High Court claim for injuries she had received in the alleged accident and had paid legal costs of just over £5,000.
The company had also paid two other claimants £18,000 and £10,000 and legal costs arising out of the same accident which had been staged in April 1988.
Det Garda Alan Bailey said Godfrey admitted the accident had been set up by her uncle who had arranged that a car driven by O'Connell would approach them from behind and O'Connell was to brake to allow the following car to crash into the rear. Det Garda Bailey said £2,000 of the £17,000 had been paid to her uncle as his cut. Godfrey and O'Connell had been charged with conspiracy to defraud and had received three-year suspended jail sentences following guilty pleas.