Insurance fraudster who said her Volkswagen Golf had been stolen from outside her house is caught out when CCTV shows the engineless car being towed away
- Hayley Barlow, 36, claimed her VW Golf had been stolen on July 4 last year
- CCTV emerged of a van dragging her engineless vehicle away from her house
- The Golf was later found ablaze by firefighters in a field close to her home
A woman who lied to police about being burgled was exposed when officers found CCTV of her car being towed away by a van.
Hayley Barlow, 36, dialled 999 in the early hours of July 4 last year claiming she’d woken to discover her car keys had been stolen and her Volkswagen Golf had disappeared from outside her home in Chester.
She went on to make a £2,000 claim with her insurance firm over the apparent ‘theft’.
The Golf was later found ablaze by firefighters in a field a short distance from her home.
CCTV footage shows the woman’s car being towed down the street without an engine in it
Barlow’s web of lies began to unravel when it was discovered the burnt out car did not have an engine.
She had told police it was in full working order and that she had fallen asleep at 7pm on the night of the ‘burglary’ and hadn’t left the house.
However, police then uncovered CCTV footage which showed the Golf being towed by a van with Barlow sat inside it.
Her VW Golf was later discovered burnt out
Cheshire Constabulary say she paid the driver £20 for the towing job, then used a can of butane gas to set it alight at around 9.10pm before returning home.
Officers arrested her for fraud, perverting the course of justice and possession of a class A drug in relation to a wrap of cocaine she was found with on July 10.
She pleaded guilty to all charges at Chester Crown Court last December and was sentenced yesterday.
Barlow said she had done it because of debts and the amount of money the car was costing her in repairs.
A judge spared Barlow from prison and handed her a four-month term, suspended for a year.
After the case, both police and the fire service slammed Barlow for wasting the resources of emergency services.
Det Con Nicky Edgell said: ‘Not only did Barlow report a burglary to the police that did not happen and attempt to defraud her insurance company with a £2,000 claim for a car that was not stolen, she caused a potential environmental and health hazard by setting fire to the vehicle.
‘Due to the temperatures at the time of the offence and the dryness of the dense undergrowth along Green Lane, the fire spread a considerable distance from the vehicle and posed a risk to the fields and farms nearby.’
Hayley Barlow, 36, was said to have made a £2,000 insurance claim over the apparent ‘theft’
‘Thankfully firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before it could spread further, but many hours have been spent investigating Barlow’s burglary report and subsequently her offences, including obtaining witness accounts, photographing scenes, conducting interviews and examining phone reports, telecoms data and CCTV.
‘Barlow had the opportunity to admit her fraudulent actions early on in the investigation but chose not to, continuing to lie until the evidence against her was overwhelming.
‘I would like to thank all the officers involved in the investigation for their hard work in untangling Barlow’s web of lies and securing this conviction.’
In a tweet, Cheshire Fire Service added: ‘Powey Lane firefighters were called out to tackle this blaze which could have spread given the hot, dry weather conditions.
‘Deliberate fires like this can stop us attending real emergencies and put lives at risk.’
In addition to her suspended prison sentence, Barlow was ordered to adhere to a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and pay a £115 victim surcharge.