MP fails in appeal against sentence in case prosecuted by James Kinsey

December 7, 2020

In a case prosecuted by James Kinsey from Exchange Chambers, Wakefield MP Imran Khan has failed in his appeal against sentence after being convicted of a speeding offence.

Mr Khan was appealing a sentence received at Bradford Magistrates Court in June 2020. Mr Khan’s driving license had been endorsed with 5 penalty points and he had received a fine of over £500 after being caught speeding in his Land Rover Range Rover at 48 mph in a 30 mph zone. The offence was committed not long after he had become an MP.

The appeal was brought on the basis that there had been administrative errors at the Houses of Parliament which had led to the matter being referred to the Magistrates Court for sentence.

The standard procedure following a speeding offence is for a notice of intended prosecution / s.172 notice to be sent to the driver of the vehicle used in the offence. Once an offender has acknowledged being the driver at the time of the offence he is sent a fixed penalty notice, ordered to pay a fixed fine of £100 and obliged to surrender his driving license for endorsement. The fine must be paid and the driving license surrendered if not the matter will be referred to the Magistrates Court.

Mr Khan argued he had responded to the notice of intended prosecution and then subsequently paid the £100 fine. In doing so he said he accepted responsibility for the offence. However, he acknowledged that his driving license had not been surrendered to the authorities. He said he had delegated the responsibility of doing so to his Parliamentary aid. However, the license was not in fact surrendered due to the failings of his Parliamentary aid now no longer in his employment.

In his appeal Mr Khan argued that due to Parliament being closed during the early stages of Lockdown and because of a mix up caused by the Parliamentary Postmaster, who had sent Mr Khan’s post to Mr Afzal Khan MP for the constituency of Gorton, he had not received key documentation including a reminder letter about surrendering his license.

The appeal was dismissed.

HHJ Hatton sitting alongside a bench of two Magistrates concluded that the original sentence was appropriate for such an offence. The bench went on to find that Mr Khan had been failed in this case and that failing had led to his sentence. However, the failing was not that of the justice system. The failing was that of his Parliamentary aid who had failed to follow Mr Khan’s instructions to surrender his driving license on his behalf. As the license had not been surrendered the matter was appropriately referred to the Magistrates Court where he received a lawful sentence