6:01am Friday 11th October 2013
In one of the biggest prosecutions in Wales, a total of 84 people appeared in court yesterday charged with allegations of conspiracy in relation to a 'crash for cash' scam.
The 84 defendants appeared at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court throughout the day charged in relation to the scam which is alleged to have been centred in Blackwood.
A total of 86 people, from areas including Gwent, Caerphilly and Cardiff, have been charged in total with the other two due to make their first court appearance later this month.
Yesterday’s hearing saw 82 defendants appear in person while two appeared via video link.
The defendants all faced separate charges including conspiracy to defraud, conspiring to steal from another and conspiring to receive stolen goods.
It is alleged that some of the defendants who are charged with conspiracy to defraud conspired with others to defraud insurance companies by making false claims and referrals for accidents, injuries and damage.
It is alleged that during the course of this, vehicles were recovered to a garage known by various names including St David's Accident Repair Centre or Easifix.
The charges come following more than two years of investigating by Gwent Police.
The busy court sat from just after 9.30am until 2.45pm, breaking off for an hour’s lunch in between, with defendants appearing before District Judge Richard Williams in groups of one to five.
Many covered up their faces as they went in and out of the court.
Inside all defendants, who were aged between 23 and 71-years-old, spoke to confirm their name, date of birth and address. They were told by the court clerk they were facing allegations of conspiracy.
Some were dressed casually while others dressed more formally.
District Judge Williams bailed 82 of the defendants to reappear at Newport Crown Court between November 4 and 6.
The two defendants who appeared by video link were remanded in custody until their next court hearing.
The two who did not appear in court yesterday are due to make their first appearance in magistrates’ court on October 16.
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