Jail for Sunderland man who defied driving ban after mum rushed to A&E having heart attack

A Sunderland man who defied a driving ban when his mum was rushed to hospital having a heart attack has been sent to prison.

By Michael Drummond
Saturday, 29 June, 2019, 06:00
Syed Ahmed was caught using his mobile phone while driving. Picture: Northumbria Police

Syed Ahmed was told he had ‘no respect for authority’ after being hauled before magistrates for driving whilst disqualified for a third time.

Ahmed, 26, of Ranson Street, was pulled over in Brinkburn Street on April 23 after officers caught him driving while using a mobile phone.

Ahmed was pulled over in Brinkburn Street in Sunderland. Picture: Google Streetview

He appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance and driving while using a mobile phone.

Ahmed was ‘clearly talking on his mobile phone’

Prosecutor Rachel Glover said: “Officers could see the defendant clearly talking on his mobile phone.

“They stopped the defendant and he has initially given the details of Ali Ahmed.

“When they looked at the driving license they have seen it wasn’t this person.”

‘He received a telephone call to say that his mum had been rushed to hospital’

Defence solicitor Jason Smith said Ahmed was ‘absolutely 100% understanding’ that this is a serious offence and he came to court with a prison bag packed.

“What had happened is Syed was at home. He received a telephone call to say that his mum had been rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack.

“She has no English and he panicked. He got into the car and he went to drive off knowing that he was placing himself at risk.”

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Banned in November for drink-driving

Ahmed had been banned from driving for 16 months in November last year for driving while over the alcohol limit, the court heard.

The incident in Brinkburn Street was his third time driving while banned.

“He told the police officer the circumstances of why he was driving. The police officer was very nice, gave him the opportunity to ring another family member to explain the situation.”

The court heard that Ahmed spent a week in hospital with his mother, but that she is now improving.

Magistrate: No alternative but to send Ahmed to jail

Passing sentence, chairman of the bench Wyn Clayton said: “There is no alternative but to send you to immediate custody.

“There is no reason to suspend this sentence as you have an unenviable record, you have a total disregard for court orders and you are a persistent offender at the highest level.

“To be a disqualified driver out driving on three occasions is unenviable. You have no respect for authority.”

Ahmed was jailed for 16 weeks and must pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

He was also banned from driving for another year.