A forbidden driver who drove into a Tesco parking lot on three good wheels as he passed the limit – then accelerated and chatted with girls – may have been forced to get behind the wheel.
Sadiqul Islam, 26, showed up at the Gateshead town center point of sale in a Ford Mondeo with a torn and detached front tire.
Islam, of Lough Court, Beacon Lough, Gateshead, raised his eyebrows as he pulled into two parking lots and stepped out to speak to two women, a court has heard.
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After arousing their suspicions that he was drunk, he jumped into his engine, spun it – and came out to talk to them again.
They were so concerned about his erratic behavior on Saturday, July 24 that they ripped off his keys and called the police.
But Islam, who was banned from driving for 20 months in March on charges of drinking and driving, claimed he was bullied into driving.
His lawyer said he had learning disabilities and was a vulnerable adult – and that neighborhood thugs ordered him to drive.
This was disputed by prosecutor Glenda Beck, who told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: âA witness was in the Tesco parking lot when a blue Ford Mondeo entered.
âThe witness saw that an out-of-play tire was missing and that there was damage to the bumper.
âThe driver got out and ran into two women. He got back in his car and raced around the parking lot.
âHe went out to talk to the same women again. One took his keys while he was holding them.
âShe could smell the alcohol on her breath. The police have arrived. He started to stumble but was detained.
A breathalyzer showed that Islam had 85 mcg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath, more than double the limit of 35 mcg.
Ms Beck said he did not comment during an interview with police, but later confessed to a series of traffic violations after images of cellphones were revealed .
She added: âAt this point, he revealed that he had been threatened by people in his building and told to drive the vehicle, and that he was afraid of them.
âIt is not accepted by the prosecution. He was not in the apartments and was most likely not to drive.
Islam has pleaded guilty to drunk driving, driving while prohibited from driving, driving without insurance and being permitted to operate a motor vehicle that could cause danger of injury.
Ian Cassidy, defending, said: âThe basis of the advocacy is that he has a learning disability and has been targeted by others.
âHe went for a walk in his area after drinking alcohol. He says he was threatened by three men and told to drive.
âHe accepts that when he was in the parking lot, he was not threatened. The defense of duress is not available to him.
The magistrates ordered an all-options report on the offenses committed by Islam and adjourned the case for sentencing in the same court on Thursday, January 6.
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