Thief Loses Bid For Damages From Driver’s Insurers After Falling Off Getaway Van

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A thief badly hurt when he fell from a getaway van today failed in a second bid to claim damages from the driver’s insurers.

David Joyce’s first claim was blocked by a High Court judge a year ago – and the Court of Appeal today dismissed his latest attempt.

Judges upheld an objection by an insurance company, saying the law did not allow a criminal to recover compensation from an accomplice.

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They said Joyce and his uncle, Edward O’Brien, had stolen a set of ladders and were trying to make a “speedy escape” when the accident happened in Addiscombe, south London, four years ago.

Joyce, who was 20, had been holding on to the back of the Ford Transit and had fallen and suffered a severe head injury as O’Brien, who was in his 30s, negotiated a sharp turn.

His lawyers accepted that the men were trying to make a “speedy getaway” and that a “degree of careless driving was inevitably envisaged”.

But they argued that Joyce was justified in claiming compensation because he had not contemplated O’Brien driving in as “reckless a manner as he did”.

The claim was originally blocked by Mr Justice Cooke in May 2012 and the Court of Appeal today dismissed an appeal by Joyce. [DailyMirror]

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