Duo caught in insurance scam
A FATHER and son have been handed jail sentences after their “unsophisticated” plan to sink a company truck for insurance money was foiled.
Heath Errol Wright, 35, and Errol John Wright, 56, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday to attempted fraud.
Police prosecutor Barry Stevens said that about 4pm on February 15, the pair drove to Lake Monduran in their Mack Elite tip truck to check the depth.
“Heath then used a rope to tie the steering wheel to the passenger door and put the truck into gear and let it go,” he said.
Sgt Stevens said two days later, Heath called police and reported the truck stolen. His sister later contacted their insurance company and lodged a claim for $70,000.
No money was paid to the Wrights.
The father and son's plan came undone when skid marks were noticed near the dam and police sent down divers – who noticed the rope.
Sgt Stevens said the Wrights admitted in police interviews to sinking the truck because their business was on the verge of collapse.
Heath's defence solicitor, Robert Burns, said the business was experiencing a downturn towards the end of 2009.
He said Heath owned the business and employed seven family members.
“He reached a point of desperation and was terrified he would lose his house and family,” Mr Burns said.
Errol's defence lawyer, Matt Messenger, said his client went to the dam because he was worried about his son.
Magistrate Jennifer Batts sentenced Errol to two months in prison, wholly suspended for 12 months, and handed Heath a 12-month term with immediate parole.