Saturday, January 24, 2009

Conservative Councillor jailed after car chase

A SHAMED councillor who acted as an advisor to a Midland police force was today starting a jail sentence after leading officers on a 70mph pursuit through Birmingham streets.

Mohammed Farooqui was locked up for six months and banned from driving for two years after admitting a charge of dangerous driving.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the Redditch Borough Council member was driving too quickly when he collided with a Rover car in Handsworth on July 23 last year, causing four people to be taken to hospital.

Being pursued by police, he reached speeds of up to 70mph and ran a red light, narrowly missing two other vehicles and mounting the pavement.

He then tried to flee on foot before he was finally arrested.

Julian Harris, defending, said Farooqui, 30, of Station Road, Handsworth, had been a councillor since the age of 24 and had acted as an independent advisor to West Mercia Police.

Passing sentence, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said motorists who put members of the public at risk by their driving would go to prison.

Mr Harris, said Farooqui worked as a surveyor but had recently lost his job.

On that particular night, he said, Farooqui had attended a property award ceremony at the International Convention Centre and had decided to visit his partner who thought she may be pregnant, although this subsequently turned out to be false.

He said Farooqui had had a lost of personal problems, was concerned about the welfare of his partner and at the time was “at the end of his tether”.

Mr Harris said Farooqui panicked after the accident and what he did was “utterly out of character”.

He said any form of custodial sentence would mean the defendant would have to resign as a councillor.


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