Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ex-Traffic Cop Is off the Road; Third Time Speeding in Year Leads to Ban

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ex-Traffic Cop Is off the Road; Third Time Speeding in Year Leads to Ban

Article excerpt

Byline: By KAREN FAUGHEY

A FORMER traffic cop who returned to Cleveland Police after he was wrongfully sacked has been banned from driving after he was caught speeding three times in just over a year.

PC Sultan Alam already had nine points on his driving licence when on July 23 last year he was caught driving his Mercedes Benz at 36mph on Acklam Road in Middlesbrough - a 30mph zone.

Four months later, he was clocked doing 77mph on a 60mph limit single-carriageway stretch of the A19 at Riccall near Selby, where he pleaded with the officer for a caution.

Appearing before Northallerton Magistrates yesterday, Alam told the court how a driving ban would cause him exceptional hardship by affecting his health and making it very difficult for him to visit his sister in Nottingham.

Magistrates, however, ruled that a ban would merely inconvenience the 46-year-old, and he was banned from the roads for six months.

Mitigating, Graham Brown told the court that Alam's spell in prison and loss of employment had ultimately cost him his marriage. Mr Brown described Alam as a "very damaged individual" and said: "The angst and anxiety have had a very substantial toll on my client's health and he is currently not on active duties."

He added: "Were he to be disqualified, it would have a significantly detrimental effect on my client."

Alam was sacked from the Cleveland Police Force and sent to prison for 18 months after he was wrongly convicted of handling stolen goods in 1997.

He served half the sentence, during which he was viciously assaulted by a knife-wielding inmate for being an ex-cop.

But in November 2007, a judge at London's Court of Appeal overturned the conviction, and it was revealed that four Cleveland Police officers had deliberately misled the court during his trial.

During yesterday's proceedings, prosecutor Craig Sutcliffe said: "Would it be right to say it would cause you inconvenience rather than hardship?"

But Alam insisted: "No, it would cause me hardship because I live alone and I am entirely reliant on myself. …

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