A former Macclesfield Town footballer took out a car insurance policy minutes immediately after crashing into three parked cars.
Pa Omar Mbowe, 25, rammed his car into a line of parked cars and minutes later decided to take out a one-hour insurance policy.
During the incident in Hulme, the fraudster rammed his BMW 116i Sport into the back of a parked car, which bounced into the next car and then into another vehicle.
Find out more about the best stories from all over Cheshire here.
The footballer, who has played professionally for clubs including Macclesfield Town, took out the policy between 6.20am and 7.20am.
He claimed the accident happened when he tried to avoid a pothole as he drove through Hulme at 6.35am – just 15 minutes after the policy started, reports the Manchester Evening News.
But the following day, the insurance company was contacted by another company who claimed Mbowe had been involved in an accident with one of its policyholders after falling asleep at the wheel at 7am.
These discrepancies, coupled with the fact that Mbowe’s policy had been underwritten minutes before the accident, prompted the insurer to refer the matter to the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
An investigation revealed that a vehicle accident report was also sent to Greater Manchester Police at 6.17am on April 29, 2018 – proving Mbowe had changed times so it appeared he was insured at the time, according to the police.
However, the footballer showed remorse for his actions after admitting the offense during an interview with detectives.
He told them he had already given money to the owners of the damaged vehicles, police said today.
Mbowe was given a conditional bond under the agreement that he would cover the cost of repairing two of the cars and any loss to the insurer of the third.
But he failed to deliver, City of London Police said.
He was tracked down and arrested after the case went to court because he missed the deadline and failed to show up for his hearing.
Abdelkader Rezkallah, Police Staff Investigator for the City of London Police, said today: ‘The fact that Mbowe managed to secure an hour-long insurance policy after the accident shows how much he is quick and easy to get covered before hitting the road.
“There is no excuse for driving without insurance.
“Although he admitted the offenses during his interrogation, Mbowe did not respect the conditions of his warning.
“He then wasted even more of our time by not showing up for his hearing, which forced the court to issue a warrant for his arrest.
“Mbowe has finally faced the consequences of his actions and will be swapping his team shirt for a high visibility vest over the next year.”
At Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday February 18, Mbowe of Brentwood Street, Moss Side was convicted on one count of fraud by false representation.
He was given a 12-month community order to do 60 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £3,695 in compensation to the owners of the parked cars.