An insurance fraudster who falsely claimed following a car crash told police that his solicitors put him up to it.

Paul Self, from Milton Keynes, submitted a fraudulent insurance claim for £7,250 for loss of income following the crash in October 2014.

But an investigation subsequently revealed the painter and decorator was out of work at the time and had falsely claimed to be refurbishing an Indian restaurant.

A statement from the City of London Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) said that Self was interviewed in November 2015 and told officers that he was encouraged to submit the claim by solicitors. The statement did not name the solicitors in question.

Self, 57, told officers that he had made the quote up, but still denied that the claim was fraudulent and that he was planning to carry out the work for the restaurant.

He was sentenced on 26 August at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court to 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £860 in costs after he was found guilty of fraud by false representation.

Detective Constable Helen Shipston of City of London police, which investigated the case, said: ‘There is a misconception that solicitors or claims management companies offering the promise of "no win, no fee" claims, means that you can submit exaggerated or false claims to insurance companies without any risk.

‘Fraud is a serious criminal offence and if you lie in order to make financial gain from a bogus insurance claim, then, like Paul Self, you could end up with a knock on the door from police and a criminal record.’

Meanwhile, a national firm has urged the government to act immediately and push through the personal injury reforms proposed last year.

DWF head of motor Nigel Teasdale said the new ministerial team installed over the summer should pick up George Osborne’s autumn statement plans to increase the small claims limit and scrap general damages for soft-tissue injuries.

Teasdale said: ‘We urge the new prime minister and her ministers to see that the time is right to make progress with the changes that were outlined last year. Insurers are still receiving more than 1,300 whiplash claims a day, at a collective cost of £2bn according to ABI figures, adding an extra £90 onto every UK motor premium.’