A Derby driver led police on a chase at speeds of up to 90mph because he was worried that he would be stopped from going to his sister’s wedding due to having cannabis in the car. Adam Ali went through red lights or traffic contraventions at least eight times and narrowly missed pedestrians at least four times in just eight minutes, while a female passenger screamed for him to stop.
The 22-year-old was found with a small amount of cannabis after the pursuit which spanned several residential streets in Derby. He told officers that he became worried that, if police caught him, he wouldn’t be able to attend his sister’s wedding in Pakistan.
Daniel Scothern, prosecuting, told Derby Crown Court that Ali’s Volkswagen car had been involved in a police chase on February 1, 2022, and had managed to evade the police. While the driver was not identified, the car was seen the next day in Derby city centre, with Ali at the wheel, who was driving a work colleague home.
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Police began to tail the car, which then caused Ali to speed off just after 9.15pm. During the chase he reached speeds of over 80mph while overtaking cars on the roundabout on Ascot Drive, and 90mph while in London Road before going through a red light at the junction with Midland Road.
He then went the wrong way down Carrington Street and went over double the 30mph speed limit in Osmaston Road. Other roads he traveled down at high speed included Grange Street, Osmaston Park Road and Pear Tree Crescent, before going over Spider Island at 80mph, with his passenger threatening to open the door and jump out of the car if he did not slow down.
Ali, of Clarence Road, Derby, was finally apprehended at around 9.25pm when a police car managed to get in front of him near the Co-op store in Osmaston Road, causing damage to both the VW and the police car. Small amounts of cannabis were later found in a bag around Ali’s neck and also in the car’s center console, which were dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice.
Ali later fully admitted being responsible for dangerous driving in a police interview and pleaded guilty to the offense at a magistrates’ court hearing. He had no previous convictions. He was joined in court by his father who looked at the floor as his son’s sentence was read out. Catherine Picardo, mitigating, said that he had lost his job as a result of the offense but the female passenger had accepted his apology for the incident.
She said: “The driving clearly was appalling and could have been catastrophic. He has shown his remorse in his police interview. There are serious aggravating factors, not least the fact that he had a female passenger who was terrified throughout.
“He did act in a most out of character and impulsive manner and this is because he panicked, and the day before he was acting in a very irrational way. He has been feeling anxious lately, he could not go into more detail but he did refer to the pandemic.
“He was also worried that the police may prevent him from going away to his sister’s wedding in Pakistan. That does not explain away the reckless stupidity that could have caused several collisions.”
Recorder David Allan, sentencing, said that Ali had lost his good name through his offense and that while the offense did warrant a custodial sentence, the defendant’s record and age allowed him to suspend the prison term. He said that the “highly dangerous” offending “might have easily become” a case of death by dangerous driving.
He said: “I am concerned that you are a young man in what appears to be sound health. You had two bags of cannabis in your car when you were driving a co-worker home.
“You ignored your passenger’s pleas for a considerable time. I am satisfied that your culpability is very high. There was a high risk of potentially catastrophic harm. You are a young man and I am satisfied that your immaturity is an important factor for this offense .”
Ali was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for six months, and must also complete 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days with the probation service. He was disqualified from driving for a year and must take an extended retest should he wish to drive again, and must pay a £500 fine, £340 costs and a victim surcharge.