A young woman who deliberately sawed off her left hand to claim almost £1 million in insurance payouts has been jailed for fraud.
Julija Adlesic, 22, and her boyfriend claimed the hand was severed above the wrist in an accident while she cut branches, and they left it behind when they went to a hospital for urgent treatment.
But a court in Ljubljana, Slovenia, found that the couple intentionally cut off the hand with a circular saw so that they could make a bogus insurance claim.
An investigation revealed that Adlesic had taken out five insurance policies in the year before her injury, and her boyfriend made internet searches about artificial hands in the days leading up to the incident.
She has been jailed for two years, while her partner has been sentenced to three.
The court heard that Adlesic, who covered her reattached left hand inside and outside court, stood to gain more than £900,000 in payouts – more than £450,000 as a lump sum and the remaining amount in monthly instalments.
She insisted she was innocent, telling her trial: “No one wants to be crippled.
“My youth has been destroyed.
“I lost my hand at the age of 20.
“Only I know how it happened.”
She told hospital staff that the hand was cut off by accident while she was pruning a tree.
A court found that Adlesic and her boyfriend intentionally left the severed hand behind at home instead of bringing it with them to the hospital to ensure the disability was permanent.
It was recovered and reattached by surgeons.
Prosecutors said the fact that Adlesic took out five insurance policies was proof that her hand was deliberately sliced off.
They said her boyfriend’s internet searches were further proof it was a planned and deliberate act.
Adlesic was convicted of attempted insurance fraud.
Her boyfriend’s father received a one-year suspended sentence for his part in the plot.