Man convicted after blaming Hastings speeding offence on former tenant

Police stock image
Police stock image

A man who blamed a speeding offence on his former tenant has been convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Ashfaq Asghar, 28, of Linden Road, Reading, Berkshire, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, and must carry out 300 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to the offence.

At Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday, October 1, he was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to his victim, £600 costs and a £140 victim surcharge.

On February 6, a Ford Mondeo activated a speed camera after travelling at 39mph in a 30mph zone on the A259 Marina, Hastings.

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A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) was sent to the registered keeper, Ashfaq Asghar, who nominated another driver who was subsequently convicted in his absence – he was fined £660 and had his licence endorsed with six points.

However, investigations revealed Asghar had provided false documents including a signed receipt for the vehicle. It was also revealed the copy of the passport he provided had been supplied by the nominated person when he rented a room from Asghar back in 2010. The conviction against this person was subsequently quashed.

Asghar voluntarily attended an interview at Shoreham Police Station on May 2 and provided a prepared statement. He denied the allegations against him, before eventually pleading guilty at crown court.

Chris Raynor, of the Sussex Police Camera and Ticket Process Team, said: “It is clear that Asghar produced a false receipt of sale in order to legitimise his account, and using a copy of his former tenant’s passport added credence to his attempts to avoid prosecution. He had a total disregard to the effect it had on the person whose details he used.

“We have informed the victim of the outcome of this case and he replied to thank us for our determination and persistence in bringing Asghar to justice.”

Asghar is among several people to be convicted as part of Operation Pinocchio, which was launched by Sussex Police in 2016 with the following aims:

To improve safety on Sussex’s roads by tracing and prosecuting offenders who provide false information in an attempt to avoid prosecution; And to prevent law-abiding motorists, who have been badly advised, from committing serious criminal offences by attempting to avoid speeding or red light offences.