Banned driver took wheel to help ‘lost’wife

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A SHOP-KEEPER who was caught driving while banned took the wheel because his wife got lost in Wigan, a court heard.

Iftakher Ahmed Kamal, who owns two convenient stores, was initially stopped by police officers in Platt Bridge because his daughter was spotted not wearing a seat-belt.

The 38-year-old - who appeared before Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court this week - received a 12 month driving ban and a 12 month community order which included an order to perform 200 hours unpaid work.

Kamal pleaded guilty to three motoring offences; driving without third party insurance, driving while disqualified and driving while a child between the ages of three and 14 was not wearing a seat-belt.

Colin Rawson, defending, said: “He is an extremely hard working man who opens up his two shops at 6am and 7am and closes them both at 11pm.

“He works seven days a week and relies on the use of his vehicle for transporting stock.

“He was driving a short distance and had only taken the wheel because his wife had got lost.

“He thought that when he set off that his daughter was secure in the back and it was not until he was stopped that he realised she did not have a seat belt on.”

The court was told that Kamal had previous driving offences that had resulted in a ban.

Katie Beattie, prosecuting, told the court that police officers on Warrington Road in Platt Bridge had spotted Kamal’s young daughter sitting in the back of the car holding the seat-belt round her waist.

Although she was young enough to have a booster seat, officers could see that one was not in use in the back of the car.

She said: “He refused to speak to the officers at the scene without a solicitor and after checks, it was discovered that he did not have third party insurance and was subject to a driving ban.

“But once he was arrested and taken to Wigan police station, he made a full admission.”

Presiding magistrate Krystyna Mountain said: “Driving while disqualified and without insurance are very serious matters.

“You could have been given 300 hours unpaid work but you have been given credit for pleading guilty at an early opportunity.

“So the circumstances could have been a lot graver for you today.”

Kamal, of Meteor Close, Warrington, was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.