It must be stressed at the start that so far no one has been convicted of any offence, and all but one of the eighty-six defendants have been granted bail. Nevertheless, this is unquestionably the biggest conspiracy trial ever in Wales, almost certainly in the UK, and if you can think of a bigger one anywhere else, bring it on.
The accused range from a woman of 23 to a woman of 71! An entire family appears to be involved, and at least two of the defendants appear to be Moslem women. This one truly has something for everyone. And they are charged with...crash for cash.
An entire day has been reserved for the proceedings at Cwmbran Magistrates' Court
. So what is crash for cash? If you drive a car, you need to know.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and this short video
is priceless. The three men who caused the death of Baljinder Gill were gaoled for a total of more than thirty years. The man who actually hit her in his van was given a 12 month sentence for causing death by dangerous driving; he was not a member of the gang but was said to have been driving too fast; this is a salutary lesson to all drivers. And just because this tragedy happened on a major road doesn't mean it can't happen to you on the way to your local supermarket. Here is another video
. Don't pay too much attention to the idiotic claim by the so-called academic that this sort of scam is linked to drug trafficking, human trafficking, etc, but unfortunately the police officer who says these gangs prey on vulnerable road users is spot on. That can include not simply lone females like the unfortunate Miss Gill but someone with kids in the car. It is clear also from the time stamps on the clips shown here that this is a scam that has been going for several years.
Although today's proceedings in Wales include a record number of defendants, typically these gangs do involve large numbers of people, including some higher up the food chain, as this case
from four years ago shows. Last month, a gang operating in South Yorkshire was convicted
; the conspirators have yet to be sentenced.