Officers had ‘miraculous’ escape, court hears

mohammed arshad
mohammed arshad
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A PEDESTRIAN was almost mown down and two police officers were injured when a young driver, out for a spin in his brother’s flash car, smashed into their patrol car, a court heard.

Off-licence worker Mohammed Ahmed had been at the wheel of his brother’s black Audi, said to be newer and more desirable than his own car, when he had sped off from police in the Colne Road area of Burnley. He hit the police vehicle, which turned over several times, but the officers miraculously escaped with minor injuries, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told the defendant had panicked because he had a snap bag of cannabis in the vehicle. He has now been locked up for nine months.

Ahmed, who has 27 offences on his record and has a previous conviction for dangerous driving, admitted dangerous driving, possessing cannabis and driving with no insurance on August 7th. The defendant (24), of Hibson Road, Nelson, was also banned for three years and must take an extended driving test. He had been committed for sentence by magistrates.

Mr Hugh Barton (prosecuting) said on July 20th, shortly after 1am, the defendant was seen parked in the Audi. A police officer noticed the vehicle was facing the wrong way and could see a male leaning in at the driver’s window.

The Audi set off, the officer followed it and indicated the driver should pull over. The defendant stopped, but when the police car stopped behind it, he sped off. The officer followed it briefly on foot, to see what direction it was going and saw the Audi narrowly miss a pedestrian at the junction with Bright Street and then crash into a police car travelling in the opposite direction. The police car turned over several times and the two occupants had to climb out of it. Both sustained stiffness, cuts and bruises and went to hospital.

Mr Barton said Ahmed was arrested as he tried to get out of his brother’s car. He was questioned and explained he panicked when he saw the police car as he had cannabis on him. The defendant had thought he was covered by his brother’s insurance to drive the car, but he wasn’t.

Mr Mark Stuart, for Ahmed, said his brother had a nicer car than he did. He had access to the cars, his brother had not been there and he went out in it. The barrister added: “He is very, very keen, if at all possible, not to lose his liberty.”

Judge Andrew Woolman told the defendant: “It was lucky the officers were able to get out with only stiffness, bruises and cuts and all together, you could have done a lot more injury and damage, both to the pedestrian and the police officers.”

The judge said the defendant had “quite a bad driving record”. In one sense, it looked as if Ahmed was beginning to mature, but he had behaved in a similar way to the way he did five or six years ago. Judge Woolman added: “Your attitude to this offence looks to me, to some extent, as if you are going back to your bad old ways.”