A STUDENT who ‘panicked’ after ploughing his car into a nursery wall and bus stop before running off was disqualified from driving for a year by magistrates.
Esah Mohammed, 24, of Margate Road, Portsmouth, lost control of his Vauxhall Astra before smashing into the wall by Rainbow Corner Day Nursery on Victoria Road North, Southsea, in November last year.
No-one was injured following the crash but the vehicle suffered ‘extensive damage’ while the affected wall remains a glaring reminder of the incident with it yet to be replaced.
Prosecutor Graham Heath told Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court: ‘The defendant came off the road before hitting a bus stop and garden wall before fleeing the scene.’
Police checks showed Mohammed was the registered keeper, leading to them contacting his parent’s London address as shown on the form.
The defendant, who studies civil engineering at the University of Portsmouth, subsequently admitted his offences after lying to police over a false Southsea address.
Mr Heath added: ‘The failing to stop is the most serious part of this. There were no injuries, though it is not known if the defendant was injured. The airbag in the car was activated.’
Mohammed admitted failing to give information on the identity of the driver, driving without due care and attention, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.
Defending, Saleem Chaudhry said Mohammed had been ‘frank’ and ‘honest’ after admitting his crimes, which were put down to him panicking.
He said: ‘To put it bluntly, he panicked. When he saw the extent of the damage to the bus stop and garden wall he panicked and ran off.
‘He panicked when police tried to contact him. It could have been worse, he could have been charged for perverting the course of justice.
‘The defendant does have a record for other offences but they are of a dissimilar nature. It was a one-off incident.’
Chair of the magistrates’ bench Peter Clarke told Mohammed his offences were ‘serious’ with ‘prison considered’ by the previous bench who adjourned for sentencing.
Mohammed was given a 12-month community order where he has to complete 200 hours unpaid work, disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £85.