A cash-for-crash fraudster who raked in thousands of pounds by engineering deliberate road collisions has been jailed.

Asif Javed was the “meat in the sandwich” between an accomplice in a car in front and the innocent drivers behind.

The 26-year-old slammed on his brakes when he took a call from his fellow gangster – and then demanded cash at the roadside from the hapless victims.

The crooks made around £8,000 in bogus insurance claims and tried to claim another £22,732, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

They also “bashed up” the car they used to make crashes appear worse.

Javed was involved in eight crashes between April 2016 and May 2017 – the most serious of which left a driver and three children needing hospital treatment.

The locations included the A449, towards Kidderminster, and the A447, towards Ironbridge, and a slip road off the M5 at junction three.

Javed’s address was used in one of the bogus insurance claims and one of the victims took his photo, the court heard.

He was tracked down as a result of a Facebook campaign but fled to Pakistan, only to be arrested at Birmingham Airport on his return.

And he was prosecuted following a joint investigation involving City of London Police’s insurance fraud enforcement department (IFED) and the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).

Checks revealed he insured five cars under two policies – both paid for with a bank card which was not registered in his name and involved fake names and addresses.

Javed, of Kenelm Road, Bordesley Green, had previously admitted a charge of conspiracy to defraud.

He was jailed for 22 months and banned from driving for three years.

Passing sentence, Judge Patrick Thomas QC said such offences affected the no claims bonuses and legitimate claims made by law-abiding drivers.

The judge also rejected Javed’s claim that he was forced to become involved after falling into debt and being threatened at gunpoint.

Delroy Henry, defending, said Javed as a warehouse worker for a firm in Solihull and only “low-level” injury had been caused.

The sentence was welcomed by police and investigators.

Det Con Daryl Fryatt, of IFED, said: “In his desperation to make money, Jawad set out on a year-long spree of deliberate crashes that put innocent members of the public at risk.

“He had no regard for the safety of those around him and crimes like his have contributed to the rise in premiums for insurance holders. His greed has resulted in another successful conviction for IFED.

“Crash for cash offences are taken very seriously and fraudsters will be stopped.”

Jason Potter, Head of Investigations at IFB, said: “Jawad was a reckless individual who forced motorists into accidents on notoriously busy roads.

“The victims in this case were innocent people going about their day to day lives and Jawad did not hesitate to put their lives in danger for financial gain.

“This investigation demonstrates the commitment of the industry to stamping out this type of criminal activity.

“This sentencing should serve as a clear message to would-be fraudsters that they will pay the price for their selfish and abhorrent behaviour.”