Driver jailed over lie to hide his identity

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An innocent man was sumnonsed to court to defend himself against a string of driving offences, after an acquaintance wrongfully gave his details to the police.

Suhail Munshi, 28, has now been jailed for perverting the course of justice, after a police officer attended court and did not recognise the man standing in the dock.

Munshi was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt and using his mobile phone at the wheel of a black Volkswagen Passat in Samlesbury on April 5 last year.

He gave the name, address, postcode and date of birth of a Shakraz Patel, who lives in Deepdale.

But when officers ran checks on the vehicle, it emerged Mr Patel was not named on the car’s insurance.

Mr Patel was summonsed to Preston Magistrates Court on January 6 and denied the charges. However, the officers who attended court also told the bench Mr Patel was not the man they had stopped and the case against him was dismissed.

The following day, while on patrol in Samlesbury, the officers spotted the Passat and noticed the driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

But when the driver gave Mr Patel’s details, the officer recognised the address and realised he was not the man he had seen in court the day before.

The driver was identified as being Suhail Munshi, of St Paul’s Road, Deepdale, Preston, who did not have a driving licence.

He was charged with having no insurance, using a mobile phone while driving, failing to wear a seatbelt and giving false details.

Recorder Nicholas Clarke, sentencing, said: “I find it difficult to accept that when he was stopped he panicked. He had the clarity of mind to use a name, address and postcode. Someone was summoned to court and was charged with an offence he knew nothing about.”

He jailed Munshi for six months and banned him from driving for two years.