AN angry taxi driver said to have put an off-duty police sergeant’s life at risk when he repeatedly tried to knock him off his motorbike has been jailed.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Mohammed Zia, 33, who was working part-time for Crown Taxis, had intended to intimidate, or cause harm, by his ‘appalling’ driving, in Albert Road, Colne.
The officer had shouted to Zia that he could have killed someone following a ‘crazy manoeuvre’, and after he had tried to smash into another vehicle on the busy 30mph road.
He identified himself as a police officer, to which Zia replied: “What difference does that make?” and accelerated away.
Zia’s conduct behind the wheel was described by another shocked motorist as ‘the worst driving he had ever seen in 35 years on the road’.
Zia, who was not in a cab at the time, has a previous conviction for driving without due care and attention, when he hit the back of another vehicle, and made off without giving his details.
He was jailed for 48 weeks by Judge Graham Knowles, QC, who slammed his driving as ‘outrageous’.
Zia, of Dockray Street, Colne, had admitted dangerous driving, last February 18.
He was banned for three years, and must take an extended test.
The hearing was told Zia made what the officer described as a ‘crazy’ manoeuvre, overtaking on a right hand bend, where he could not see and risked a head-on collision.
While doing it, Zia tried to crash into the car he was overtaking, causing a near miss, and got in front of the car, in front of that vehicle.
He then braked to a slow speed in front of the queue of traffic.
The sergeant decided he needed to memorise Zia’s registration plate and went alongside Zia. Zia swerved at him to stop him passing and, he thought, to knock him off his bike.
Zia swore at him, and swerved at him again, and it was only the officer’s skill that saved him.
James Heyworth, defending, said Zia’s behaviour had been out of character.
Sentencing, Judge Knowles said the bike rider was extremely fortunate not to have been injured. He told Zia: “This driving was appalling. It was persistent and sustained. It was outrageous in its deliberate endangering of the safety, and the life, of the motorcyclist.”