A WOKING man who recorded a selfie video while leading police in a high-speed car chase when disqualified was branded ‘stupid’ and jailed for 16 months last week.
Salim Shah, who was not long into an 18-month ban from driving, was at the wheel of a car in Burnley when police spotted him and made chase. The evening pursuit through the Lancashire town lasted 17 minutes.
Officers tried to stop Shah on Blackburn Road, Accrington, but he carried on. The chase ensued.
The 23-year-old offender then switched on and placed his phone in a cradle on the dashboard while racing through ‘Give Way’ junctions, three sets of red traffic lights and through streets at 60mph in 30mph zones.
Shah recorded himself on the phone, saying goodbye to a girlfriend. He said: “As you can see, I am being chased by police. They are trying to pull me over, innit. I love you.
“I’m going to prison now. Will probably be out in about six months or something.”
He had recorded the last 33 seconds of himself fleeing from police, with their flashing blue lights visible behind. Shah then dumped the car and tried to run off on foot but a police dog sniffed him out hiding in nearby undergrowth. He was reported to have said to officers: “It was a good chase, wasn’t it.”
At Burnley Crown Court last week, he admitted to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, having no insurance and being in possession of cannabis.
Shah, who has previous for banned driving, taking a car without consent and driving without due care and attention, was sentenced to 16 months behind bars, disqualified from driving for two-and-a-half years and ordered to take an extended retest.
The court heard how in July – only two months before his latest arrest – Shah had been given a 12-week jail sentence suspended for a year-and-a-half, and an 18-month ban following a conviction of driving while disqualified and failing to stop after an accident.
Kimberley Obrusik, prosecuting, stated: “The defendant’s mobile phone had been used during this incident to make a 33 second video. The defendant’s face can be seen clearly within it, still driving.”
Shah later told police officers he had borrowed the car from a friend and that his actions had been a spur of the moment thing. He claimed his driving was careless rather than dangerous as the roads were ‘quite quiet’. He also told them he smoked cannabis to self-medicate as he suffers from arthritis.
Recorder Suzanne Goddard QC said that Shah had known perfectly well what he was doing. She added: “It was a quite deliberate course of driving. The word ‘stupid’ runs immediately to mind.”