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Burnley danger driver jailed for 16 months
A DANGER driver who led police on a chase for the second time has been locked up for 16 months — the maximum sentence — again.
Zahid Tabassum, 31, had clocked up 50mph in 30mph residential areas of Burnley and 88mph in more open country.
Tabassum, who wasn’t insured on either occasion and didn’t have a licence, didn’t cause a smash this time, but a judge told the town’s crown court that the maximum jail term was the only way to deal with his continued driving offences.
The court heard the defendant, who has about 10 convictions for getting behind the wheel while banned, was sent to custody for 16 months and banned for three years in 2009.
On that occasion, he had been disqualified when a high-speed pursuit ended with him crashing into a lamp-post.
He had reached up to 65 mph in built-up areas, gone the wrong way around bollards at a roundabout, overtaken on a pelican crossing and forced other drivers to stop to avoid him, including a packed bus.
For his latest offences, Tabassum was banned for five years and must again take an extended re-test.
Tabassum, of Barden Lane, Burnley, had admitted dangerous driving, no licence and no insurance and had been committed for sentence by magistrates.
The hearing had been told how the defendant struck on February 6, in very poor weather conditions.
He was followed by police and filmed for a considerable distance by CCTV in the car behind him.
Richard Taylor, for Tabassum, said no injury or damage was caused. The defendant had more to lose than ever before by going to custody. He could and would co-operate with a non-custodial sentence and had recently completed 270 hours of unpaid work and a curfew.
The solicitor, who urged the court to pass a suspended sentence, added: “He has not had any form of significant probation input since 2005.”
Sentencing, Judge Simon Newell told the hearing it had been said the roads were quiet and there was no accident — and effectively what was being said was that Tabassum should get some credit for, purely by chance, not driving into a person or car.
The judge said: “That’s just a matter of luck,” and added that if there had been a collision, death or serious injury could have resulted.
Judge Newell told the defendant: “There was a huge potential danger in what you did. You have a poor criminal record and a very substantial number of convictions for driving whilst disqualified.”
The judge said bad as it was, the latest incident would not normally attract the maximum sentence.
He continued: “That being said, it’s the second offence, with a very poor driving record.”
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