A disgraced solicitor walked free from court despite lying about a speeding offence to protect her elderly father.
Asha Khan was involved in a plot to cover her father’s repeated lies after he was caught breaking the law in 2010 as he drove along Jesmond Road, Newcastle.
Property mogul and convenience store owner Mohammed Khan repeatedly lied to his family about having a driving licence and then kept silent when the police issued a fixed penalty notice to the family address.
Instead, Asha sent officers the details of one of her brother’s friends, recovering alcoholic David Moat, who was coaxed into the scam with the offer of half a bottle of whisky.
But the 31-year-old, of Grainger Park Road, Newcastle, who studied for 10 years to work as a trainee solicitor at her family’s Newcastle-based KK Solicitors firm, was arrested and put in police cells after the scam emerged. Sentencing the trio, the Recorder of York, Stephen Ashurst, drew comparisons with the Chris Huhne scandal. Sentencing the trio at York Crown Court, Recorder Ashurst said: “At the heart of this case in an initial theme - a theme of lies to protect you, Mohammed Khan, from the consequences of your driving.
“Had you been honest from the start, the very considerable turmoil many members of your families have suffered could have been avoided.”
Mohammed Khan was caught speeding twice in 2008 but made a bogus disclosure to police in which he claimed someone else was driving his Jaguar along Jesmond Road, Newcastle.
On August 14, 2010, he was again captured on speed cameras breaking the limit in his daughter’s BMW, which he had given to her as a graduation present, but refused to take the blame.
Asha’s barrister Glenn Gatland produced references from professionals across Tyneside’s legal spectrum and said she had been subject to racist abuse during her life. Mr Gatland claimed she had “succumbed to family pressure” because of her Muslim background.
Robin Patton, mitigating for Mohammed Khan, said he had developed arthritis, diabetes and the early onset of dementia. He said: “He feels enormous pain at the situation his own children have been forced to confront.”
The 70-year-old, of Grainger Park Road, Newcastle, entered guilty pleas to perverting the course of justice and insurance offences. He was handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £650 costs.
Asha Khan was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. She was sentenced to 10 months in jail, suspended for two years, and handed a 12-month supervision order.
Moat, 48, of St Lukes Road, North Shields, was told to serve six months in prison, suspended for two years, with a 12-month supervision order, after admitting perverting the course of justice. His barrister, Paul Smith, said “some may take the view he’s the perfect patsy because of his addiction, his vulnerability and his background”.