A conman who boarded a bus after it crashed and then tried to claim a payout for whiplash has been jailed for nine months.
Mykel Joseph-Allen, 25, made up a series of lies in a bid to defraud National Express West Midlands out of compensation for the 'injury'.
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The 'phantom passenger' began the scam just moments after he witnessed a collision between a double decker and a taxi in Soho Road, Handsworth, Birmingham.
He contacted claims handlers, lawyers and medical experts as he spent a year pursuing his case, which included signing legal statements to say his story was true.
But the con was uncovered when internal and external CCTV on the No.74 showed he had got on the bus AFTER the collision on June 12, 2015.
Joseph-Allen dropped his claim in the face of the incontrovertible evidence less than a month before it was due to be heard at trial at Birmingham County Court, Birmingham Mail reported.
But he was convicted of contempt of court.
The temporary worker, of Sandwell Road, Handsworth, was told his scam "struck at the heart" of the British legal system as he was sentenced.
Joseph Millington, for National Express, said: "This was an entirely fabricated claim.
"Mr Joseph-Allen wasn't on board the bus at the time it collided with the private hire vehicle.
"In fact, he happened upon the aftermath of the collision.
"Within minutes he must have concocted this scam to bring this fraudulent claim."
The CCTV showed Joseph-Allen taking pictures of the crash before boarding the bus, operated by West Midlands Travel Ltd, which trades as National Express West Midlands.
Mr Millington said: "This was a cynically opportunistic attempt to deceive West Midlands Travel, but having concocted his scam in the moments following this collision, Mr Joseph-Allen pursued his dishonest claim until less than one month before the trial."
After the case Peter Coates, managing director of National Express West Midlands, said: "We welcome the sentence and the judge's comments.
"He said a clear message must be sent to those who pursue fraudulent claims and that the consequences will be a prison term.
"National Express will investigate thoroughly every claim against us.
"If they are found to be dishonest, we will take the appropriate action.
"Fraudsters should take note – just because you drop a claim doesn't mean that's the end of it."
Verinder Bedi, lawyer at insurance law firm BLM, represented National Express West Midlands.
Mr Bedi said: "We are pleased with the outcome.
"It is important that the courts continue to take a hard stance against those seeking to interfere with the course of justice.
"Would-be perpetrators wrongly believe that bringing claims like these have no impact upon the general public.
"The judge made it clear that these types of claims strike at the heart of the British justice system.
"He was right."