Man guilty of MAIB fraud

A LOIRA man has been found guilty of defrauding the Motor Accident Insurance Board of more than $35,000.

A Launceston jury took a little over three hours to deliver the majority verdict yesterday.

Roger Edwin Fidler, 66, had pleaded not guilty to seven counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage and one count of attempting do to so. 

In his closing address Crown prosecutor Peter Sherriff tore apart Fidler's main defence that the overpayments came about due to a severe brain injury.

During the three-day trial the Supreme Court in Launceston heard expert evidence that Fidler was suffering a brain injury when he deceived MAIB between 2009 and 2011.

Defence witness Dr Mark Slatyer said Fidler would have had trouble understanding and filling in MAIB forms after a serious car crash in January 2009 on the West Tamar Highway.

Following the accident Fidler, who'd been doing up an investment property in Leslie Street, South Launceston, hired a builder to finish the job.

As a result of his injuries he was able to lodge claims with MAIB which reimbursed him 80 per cent of what he paid the builder.

But Fidler made the claims and received payment, before paying the builders or before much of the work on his house was done. 

Mr Sherriff dismissed his defence that he'd been confused about the MAIB forms, pointing out that Fidler had included specific dates for work never carried out and attached inaccurate tax invoices. 

``(He) knew very well what he was doing,'' Mr Sherriff said.

Mr Sheriff said the defendant's actions were ``a little more sinister, a little more calculating'' than confusion could explain. 

In his summing up, Justice Robert Pearce told the jury they had to consider each count separately. 

However, if they found Fidler guilty of one complaint  they could use that as a factor in determining the other allegations. 

The matter was adjourned until today for a plea of mitigation by defence counsel Ken Stanton. 

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