Shelton cabbie blamed wife for penalty points
CABBIE Ehjaz Yaqub has been jailed after trying to avoid a driving ban by telling police his wife had been speeding in his taxi.
The 33-year-old filled in forms stating his wife was behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Vectra taxi when it was snapped by speed cameras.
Police later arrested Yaqub's wife on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
CCTV images then proved Yaqub was actually driving when the cameras were activated.
The father-of-two was yesterday jailed for 10 months – just days after disgraced former MP Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce were both sent to prison for eight months for perverting the course of justice after swapping speeding points 10 years ago.
Jailing Yaqub, Judge Paul Glenn told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court: "If you have read the papers or listened to the news you will know offences of this type are topical. They are also prevalent. They strike at the heart of the criminal justice system, and courts take a serious view.
"Your wife was not prosecuted but you jeopardised her liberty. The motive was plainly to avoid losing your driving licence and with it your income. You persistently offended in the same way to avoid criminal responsibility."
The court heard Yaqub's taxi was caught speeding through seven cameras between November 2011 and April 2012. Yaqub twice accepted the points – but on other occasions blamed his wife.
Neil Ahuja, prosecuting, said: "Notices were sent requesting details of the driver. He returned them stating he was not the driver but his wife was. Inquiries at the taxi base confirmed the defendant had been working at the time of the offences."
The court heard Yaqub's wife was released without charge.
Yaqub, of Beresford Street, Shelton, pleaded guilty to three charges of intending to pervert the course of justice. He was also banned from driving for six months.
Rachel Thompson, mitigating, said Yaqub had a £50,000 debt and was trying to avoid going bankrupt.
She warned the family could lose their house if Yaqub was jailed.
Ms Thompson said: "He ended up working considerable hours to try to obtain that money. In order to do that he did speed on occasions."
An AA survey of 17,000 drivers suggested around 300,000 motorists have swapped speeding penalty points.
AA president Edmund King said: "Many drivers didn't realise the severity of swapping penalty points but they do now. There is a harsh punishment for perverting the course of justice."