sohail ashraf manchester

A university student who walked straight out court with a driving ban only to get into his car and drive off minutes later has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Saif Shaikh, 20, was photographed by press driving off in his black VW golf GTi just minutes after he was disqualified from driving at a hearing at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday.

He had just pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was handed a verbal interim disqualification to ban him from the road ahead of the hearing.

Shaikh’s case was adjourned by Judge Timothy Smith for a report to be prepared ahead of sentencing. 

The Manchester Metropolitan University nodded to the judge before leaving court but ignored the order.

He was seen walking to his car – parked around 50 yards away from the court on Bridge Street – before driving away.

Appearing at Salford Magistrates’ Court Shaikh admitted to driving without insurance while under a driving ban.

Sentencing him to 12 weeks in jail, District Judge James Hatton told him: ‘Probation have told me you have expressed remorse but at the same time you have sought to blame others and sought to avoid culpability.

‘You were well aware you were disqualified from driving.

‘You were given that indication by a crown court judge but you chose for reasons best known to yourself to immediately leave the court building and get into your car and drive the not inconsiderable distance to your home address.

‘It’s difficult to image a more flagrant breach of a court order.’

Adding:  ‘You seem to come from a good, supportive family. You are a university student and you seem to have a number of things going for you but this is an offence which is so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.’

Greater Manchester Police said journalists had contacted them regarding Shaikh’s ignorance of the order on Wednesday and the information had been passed onto relevant officers – he was arrested shortly after the images were published.

Shaikh drove the same black Golf when he crashed into the woman on Upper Brook Street on November 18 last year.

Manchester Crown Court heard the woman was visiting her son, who is in permanent care at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

At the plea and trial preparation hearing, Shaikh’s lawyer asked the judge to postpone sentencing until he had finished his first-year exams.

Shaikh, originally from Bradford, West Yorkshire, had no previous convictions prior to the collision.