Insurance fraudsters caught out over car fire

TWO brothers who burnt a family car and plotted to make a false insurance claim were spared prison because they were the victims of their own crime.

William Barakat, 41, and Ahmed Khalid Sammour, 32, were sentenced to two years' jail but were freed immediately after pleading guilty to charges of arson and attempted fraud.

The pair plotted to burn a car belonging to Sammour's wife and claim the $12,000 value from insurance company NRMA.

They reported the car as stolen, drove the car to bushland near North Tivoli on May 10, 2010, doused it in petrol and set it alight, Ipswich District Court heard. The following day Sammour lodged an insurance claim.

Soon afterwards the company asked Sammour for more details about the vehicle, but by then he had developed cold feet.

He didn't pursue the claim, but during the police investigation they uncovered CCTV footage of Barakat buying fuel from a petrol station nearby 30 minutes before the car was reported stolen.

Their actions were described as "stupid" by Judge Greg Koppenol.

"Your conduct was stupid. You are both adult men and experienced in the world," he said. "They were not well thought through and they were not well planned and despite your attempts to extract yourselves by not pursing the insurance claim, it was too late."