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Monday, June 17, 2024

Kirklees Councillor sentenced to jailed for falsifying information in a speeding offence

A councillor from Kirklees and her partner have been sentenced to imprisonment for attempting to obstruct justice in relation to a speeding offense.

Cllr Fazila Loonat
Image: Kirklees Council

Fazila Loonat, a member of the Labour Party, and her partner Afshin Amini were caught driving her car at a speed of 39mph in a 30mph zone in Dewsbury in 2020.

It was alleged that upon receiving the prosecution notice, Loonat completed the forms falsely identifying a non-existent driver.

At Bradford Crown Court, the councillor was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison, while Amini received a 12-week sentence.

During the court proceedings, it was revealed that the police were unable to locate the alleged driver of the Mercedes mentioned on the forms submitted by Loonat, who represents the Batley East ward.

Further investigations by the authorities revealed that the address provided on the forms belonged to a shop owned by Amini, aged 34, which did not have any residential space.

Prosecutor Nadim Bashir alleged that, Loonat was sent an additional warning letter requesting her to reconsider, but she once again provided false information.

Bashir also mentioned that Loonat had advertised the Mercedes for sale on eBay after the speeding incident, which supported their claim that the car was on a test drive when it was caught by a speed camera.

Police officers visited Loonat’s home on Church Walk, Staincliffe, and gave her a final opportunity to provide accurate details, but she refused to comply.

Loonat, who was pregnant at the time of the offense, eventually pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice in March of this year.

Recorder Benjamin Nolan KC stated that he considered both individuals equally responsible and concluded that immediate custodial sentences were necessary.

He noted that the couple had shown “complete resistance” to several warnings and described the car sale advertisement as a deliberate deception.

The recorder emphasized that there had been a sustained and prolonged effort to obstruct justice.

Loonat’s barrister, Jayne Beckett, mentioned that her client was frightened of going to prison and expressed deep distress for her children.

Beckett described the situation as a significant and tragic downfall.

Amini’s barrister, Susannah Proctor, stated that her client was also fearful of imprisonment and demonstrated genuine remorse.

Proctor added that Amini had played a lesser role and was not the main instigator.

Amini’s shorter prison term was due to his early guilty plea in November.

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