Two friends con 'Judge Rinder' out of £5000 by faking legal row
Judge Rinder, for those of you who don't know, is a British court show that started back in 2014. As is the case with shows like the immensely popular Judge Judy, this usually involves a dispute between two parties being resolved on television for the entertainment of its viewers. It centres around Robert Rinder, a criminal barrister who oversees a variety of civil cases, such as disputes over consumer issues, business disputes, and allegations of negligence.
What many don't know about the show (and I assume others like it), is that any "damages" awarded once a ruling is given doesn't come from the defendants themselves, but from the studio. ITV, who produce the show as a daytime programme, are the ones that pay out each case, including a fee for appearing on the show. It was after learning this information that two men concocted a scheme.
Sam Horner, 35, claimed to be attempting to get Paul Brewster, 34, to pay him £6,100 after he failed to pay him for an office refurbishment. Horner, a plasterer from Leeds, created a fake paper trail of invoices and correspondence, then lured Brewster into "confessing" that he spent the cash on gambling.
Rinder's final ruling stated that "It’s difficult to find a case where the applicant was more entitled to the full sum."
Now, Horner has admitted to inventing it all so that the two of them could split the £5,000 ($6709) they were awarded from the case. Apparently they both met in a pub hours before arriving at the studios to film back in March, and Sam told Paul exactly what to say so that they would both get paid. Speaking to The Sun, Horner explained:
"It was an Oscar-winning performance from start to finish.
"I told Paul exactly what to say. He rang the producers and told them he’d been paid the money but lost it all betting. They loved it."
"By the end Judge Rinder was utterly convinced. Me and Paul went on the p*** to celebrate afterwards and have split the £5,000."
"I haven't done anything wrong. I was paid for entertainment and that's exactly what I gave them. I was paid to act."
Technically, Robert Rinder is not a civil law judge but a criminal barrister, meaning he awards game show prizes as opposed to legal damages. So it's not the same as lying in court, as Brewster explained. "It's only a TV show, he said, "They aren't bothered as long as they are getting good ratings".
That doesn't mean ITV are too happy about the noise this is making, as a spokeswoman for the studio said "If they have defrauded us we will take this up with the police." Additionally, an insider in the show told the sun that:
"The full weight of the law will come down on their shoulders. ITV won’t put up with anyone trying to undermine this show."
It's unclear whether the studio will follow this up further, but they mustn't be too happy that their show has been duped in such a public way.