A MAN blamed the failure of his arranged marriage for a lapse into drug abuse.

Blackburn magistrates heard Zoheb Musawar Janjua felt divorce had brought shame on his family.

But his use of drugs also got him in trouble with the police which had caused them further distress.

Janjua, 25, of Regent Street, Nelson, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, driving while disqualified and without insurance, failing to stop for a police officer and failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and made subject to a community order for 12 months with 25 days' rehabilitation activity requirement. He was banned from driving for 30 months and ordered to pay £85 costs and £128 victim surcharge.

The chairman of the magistrates said they felt the offences had crossed the custody threshold.

“We are willing to suspend that because we think it is important you get the help you obviously need, and which you have said you want, to get away from drugs,” she said.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said Janjua was convicted of three charges of drug-driving in January and another drug-driving offence in February.

On May 5 police saw an Audi being driven on Briercliffe Road, Burnley, at 4.23am and pulled it over after a check on the police national computer.

“The vehicle initially stopped but when an officer got out of the police car the driver made off,” said Mrs Yates.

“A mechanical problem with the car caused it to come to a halt shortly after.”

Mrs Yates said at the roadside Janua failed to provide a specimen of breath despite four attempts and was taken to Greenbank police station where he gave a negative breath test for alcohol.

He gave a positive drug swipe for cannabis and cocaine but then refused to provide a sample of blood until he had spoken to a solicitor.

John Rusius, defending, said his client had been in trouble as a youngster but had been out of trouble for some time following an arranged marriage.

“She remained in Pakistan and he was in the UK and it soon became apparent they were not made for each other,” said Mr Rusius.

“That caused him some distress and he felt he was letting his family down.

“When the divorce came through he felt he had brought shame on his family and went out to buy some drugs,” said Mr Rusius.