Drink-driver caught for FOURTH time wins court fight to stop going back to jail

Drink-driving 'menace' Karim Noorani has won a court appeal - to quash his prison sentence. The 53-year-old has three previous convictions for drink-driving and was jailed for 12 weeks at North Staffordshire Justice Centre in April after pleading guilty to drink-driving for a fourth time.

He had been seen driving erratically in Stone at 10.55am on January 16, failed a roadside breath test, and gave a reading of 117 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than three times the legal limit of 35.

But his legal team appealed the sentence and he was bailed after serving two days in custody. Now he has successfully appealed the sentence at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

READ: Cancer-hit drink-driving businessman jailed after nipping to buy dog food Karim Noorani, 53, of Stone, was more than three times the legal limit

READ: Trucker makes 'biggest error of his life' as he lured schoolgirls into Audi A6 Adrian Vermaak, of Hanley, was jailed at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court

Dylan Wagg, for the respondent, said: "The appellant's Toyota Avensis straddled two lanes on the A34 Stafford Road. The appellant was stopped and pulled into the Shell garage. Officers spoke to him. It could be seen he had been driving while wearing flip flops or sliders and he had a dog in the front passenger footwell. He admitted he had drunk alcohol but not since the night before."

Edmund Potts, representing Noorani, of Stafford Road, Aston by Stone, said his client is remorseful. He said the sentence was excessive but conceded his client does have a serious problem with alcohol.

He said Noorani went from 2007 to 2016 without committing any offences. He said in 2016 Noorani established a successful buy-to-let business.

Mr Potts said: "The business would suffer or go under if he were to receive a sentence of immediate custody."

Mr Potts added that Noorani has not drunk since the offence.

Recorder Robert Smith and two magistrates found the magistrates who sentenced Noorani 'took too high a starting point'. They sentenced him to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 weeks, with a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement, 60 hours unpaid work, and a 120-day alcohol abstinence monitoring programme. He was banned from driving for 52 months.

Recorder Smith told Noorani: "You have had a long-term problem with the consumption of alcohol and, quite frankly, you are a menace to public safety behind the wheel, particularly when you have been drinking. You acted flagrantly in disregard for other road users and the law.

"This is your final chance. If you come anywhere near alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car you can expect to go to prison. You are a menace to other road users when driving at three-and-a-half times the limit straddling both lanes of a busy carriageway. If you fall off the wagon and come anywhere near a car you are at risk of killing somebody, yourself, somebody else, a pedestrian. You would have to live with that for the rest of your life. Be in no doubt whatsoever, if you breach the terms of this order, if you turn up to appointments smelling like a brewery, you can expect to be breached and go straight to prison."

Noorani was ordered to pay £85 costs.

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