Wed 11 December 2019

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Alert message sent 03/12/2019 11:13:00

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Man admits defrauding insurance company of thousands of pounds

A Hastings man who worked for an insurance company admitted defrauding of it more than £96,000.
Joshua King, 25, of Bannister Close, Hastings, pleaded guilty to stealing funds from Hastings Direct between 23 March and 26 November 2018 when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday (27 November).
The court heard that King was employed by Hastings Direct handling insurance claims. In November last year, an internal fraud investigation uncovered that King had made 41 false claims when dealing with genuine customer claims with the company, which resulted in fraudulent payments to various bank accounts in King's name starting in March 2018. However no Hastings Direct customers were financially impacted by King's actions.
When King was arrested, he complied with investigators and admitted committing the offences, stating that he had an online gambling addiction and had got into thousands of pounds worth of debt. He had tried to seek help from various charities for his addiction and that being caught and arrested had saved his life.
King was sentenced to 20-months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work and given a curfew for six-months to remain indoors during the hours of 10pm to 6am. King had also paid back £50,000 of the money he stole.
Detective Constable David Brown said: “King used his position at Hastings Direct to make false claims and access funds in order to pay off his own debts instead of coming clean and admitting he was in financial trouble."
Matthew Stevens, Hastings Direct Director of Counter Fraud, said: “We take all appropriate action to pursue and deter fraudulent activity against our customers, colleagues and company so we welcome the court’s decision but we are also saddened about the impact it will have on Joshua and his
Police Appeal for witnesses to serious A21 collision
Police are appealing for witnesses to a serious collision on the A21 near Hurst Green. 
At around 2.45pm on Thursday (28 November), a black Peugeot travelling southbound was in collision with a silver Vauxhall Vivaro van heading northbound on the A21 London Road, just south of Hurst Green.
The driver of the Peugeot - a 38-year-old woman from Bexhill - and the passenger of the Vauxhall Vivaro - a 69-year-old woman from Wadhurst - both suffered life-threatening injuries. 
The driver of the Vauxhall Vivaro - a 46-year-old man from Hawkhurst - suffered minor injuries. All three were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for further treatment.
The A21 was closed for seven hours while emergency services responded to the collision. 
PC Richard Trundle said: "Police acknowledge the significant impact that the road closure may have on road users and the community, particularly as the collision occurred close to school pupil collection time. 
"Officers are grateful for the patience and understanding of the public while they conducted their investigation."
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision, who may have seen either vehicle involved being driven prior to the collision, or anyone who stopped at the scene to assist is asked to contact police by emailing or calling 101 quoting Operation Melbury. 
Witnesses sought to incident involving two drivers in St Leonards

Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident involving two motorists in St Leonards.
The driver of a green Dacia Duster and the driver of a black Nissan Qashqai are reported to have exited their vehicles and confronted one another at the Ironlatch Avenue roundabout, around 8.20am on Wednesday 27 November.
Anyone who saw what happened, particularly anyone with evidence on dash cam, is asked to call 101, quoting serial 271 of 27/11. 



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