Cabbie jailed for speeding lies

Bogus driver given birthdate that doesn’t exist.

A speeding taxi driver tried dodging fines and licence points by inventing a fictitious cabbie to take the rap − but was caught out by giving one alter ego a birth date of February 30th.

Private hire driver Zafar Iqbal, from Navigation Way in Hockley, triggered six speed cameras in Birmingham between October 2009 and July 2012. On each occasion he claimed someone else was behind the wheel and completed official forms with bogus driver details.

But his ruse stalled when he tried deflecting blame for speeding on the A34 Newtown Row − when he was clocked going 39mph in a 30 zone − onto a Mr Kamer Sakoor whose date of birth he stated was 30th February 1969.

Iqbal went on to nominate a Sultan Mahmood and Sakeel Hussain for further speeding offences and, though he gave them plausible dates of birth, police discovered the Hodge Hill address he provided had lay empty and dilapidated for several years.

He appeared at Birmingham Crown Court last week, where he was jailed for 10 months and banned from driving for a year after admitting attempting to pervert the course of justice.

PC Steve Jevons from West Midlands Police’s Camera Enforcement Unit, said: “Iqbal has paid a high price for his lies: he’s been jailed and stripped of his livelihood when  he would have been looking at a relatively small fine and three points on his licence. The worst thing you can do is lie about what happened and try claiming you weren’t driving. It may seem like a little white lie, one you’ll get a slapped wrist for if caught, but attempting to pervert the course of justice can lead to a prison term.”

Registered cabbie Iqbal − an operator for 5 Star cars based in Highgate − claimed the imaginary Mr Sakoor was driving when his taxi was flashed for speeding in Newtown Row on 31st October 2009.

He nominated Sultan Mahmood for topping a 30mph limit in New John Street West, towards Hockley Circus, on 2nd August 2010 and gave the same false details when caught going 55mph on the A45 Small Heath Highway on 13th October that year.

Iqbal triggered the same speed camera on the A456 Hagley Road on 9th April 2012 and again just five days later, and on 8th July 2012 was captured on film doing 38mph in Cranford Street towards Winson Green.

On all three occasions he told officials that a Mr Sakeel Hussain was driving at the time with the fictitious cabbie (in his absence) subsequently fined £600 and given six points on his licence at Sandwell Magistrates Court in November 2012.

Suspicious licensing staff probed Iqbal’s claims and found none of the people nominated as driving were registered cabbies and, therefore, not insured to drive his taxi. The case was passed to West Midlands Police and enquiries into journey records at 5 Star Cars revealed Iqbal had been working and taken bookings during the times his taxi activated the speed cameras.

And when officers visited the address in Eastbourne Avenue, Hockley Heath − where Iqbal claimed the three speeders lived − they discovered the address had stood empty for several years.

PC Jevons added: “I hope this case illustrates we will take action against drivers who falsely nominate others to take their penalty points − and that the consequences of lying to the police can be very serious.”