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‘No angel’ drink-driver told he ‘fully deserves prison’ for smash with cab

A DRINK-driver has been warned he “fully deserves to go to prison” after a court heard how he wrote off a minicab in an early-morning crash in Bradford city centre.

Saad Mahmood, 23, was arrested after his white Volkswagen Golf smashed into a private hire vehicle being driven by Khalid Hussain in Thornton Road on August 20.

Prosecutor Heather Gilmore told Bradford Crown Court that Mr Hussain had been driving through a green light at the junction with Preston Street at around 6.50am when Mahmood drove straight into the side of him. The minicab was sent veering to the right before it hit and destroyed a set of traffic lights, leaving debris “strewn across the junction”.

Mr Hussain told police he saw a female get out of Mahmood’s car before the defendant also moved across and got out of the passenger door.

Officers searched the Golf and found a bottle of Grey Goose vodka in the passenger footwell.

Mrs Gilmore said that when Mahmood was spoken to at the police station he “appeared to be drunk”, acting “unsteady on his feet” with slurred speech and glazed eyes.

The court heard that he told officers to “forget it” after three attempted breath samples failed as he had not blown hard enough. He also refused to provide a blood sample as he was “scared of needles”.

Mr Hussain was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary following the incident and received treatment for bruising to his ribs and back. In a victim impact statement, he said the crash had led to him losing income by having to take time off work, had left him in ongoing pain, and had caused him to suffer anxiety and nightmares.

Mrs Gilmore said that Mahmood, of Westfield Road, Manningham, had been the subject of a community order for battery at the time of the offence after punching his then girlfriend in the face.

He had pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, damage to property, and failure to provide a specimen prior to yesterday’s hearing.

Mitigating, Shufqat Khan said his client admitted he had behaved in an “appalling and irrational manner”.

He said he had been drinking at a wedding party the night before the incident and had then received a message from his girlfriend asking him to drive her home. Mr Khan said Mahmood was “speechless” when he saw pictures of crash, and acknowledged that it was “fortunate” no-one had been killed after he acted like an “idiotic kid”.

He said: “He is of the Muslim faith and this was only the second or third time he had ever consumed alcohol. It is the last time he is going to be consuming alcohol. He made a huge mistake but he has changed his ways.”

Arguing that a custodial sentence could be suspended, Mr Khan said “the real Mr Mahmood is a very, very different man” to that suggested by his offending, at which point Recorder Ray Singh replied: “Why? He’s been before the courts for violence. He’s no angel is he?”

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After hearing all submissions, Recorder Singh said he wanted more time to reflect on the case before sentencing Mahmood.

He told him: “I need to think long and hard about your case. It is troubling. You fully deserve to go to prison.”

Mahmood was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Friday.

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