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Muslim Solicitor's Career In Ruins After She Lied To Cover Up Her Father's Speeding Points Then Tried To Have Trial In Secret For 'Cultural Reasons' Until Daily Mail Won Legal Challenge

21 February 2014

  • Asha Khan tried to cover up her father's speeding in her car in Newcastle
  • Mohammed Khan refused to own up after getting fixed penalty notice
  • Ms Khan told police the driver was recovering alcoholic David Moat
  • Moat agreed to his part in the scam for half a bottle of whisky
  • The Daily Mail successfully challenged reporting restrictions on the case
  • They had been put in place for 'cultural reasons' after family claimed they'd be shamed in their community

A young Muslim solicitor’s career was in ruins last night after she lied to cover up her father’s speeding and then tried to keep her case secret for ‘cultural reasons’.

Asha Khan, 31, was handed a suspended sentence after a judge heard she had been ‘crushed’ by the case and had lost the respect of her community.

She was found guilty last year of attempting to cheat the legal system by helping her father dodge a speeding ticket.

Her barrister persuaded a judge to hold her trial in secret because her ‘cultural background’ meant she did not want to criticise her father in public.

But after a legal challenge from the Daily Mail, the ban on reporting the case was overturned, allowing us to print this story.

This week York Crown Court heard that her career is in tatters after being convicted of trying to pervert the course of justice.

Her barrister, Glenn Gatland, said: ‘The last three years have been long and torturous for her.

She has been literally crushed as a result of these proceedings.

‘She has lost her career and lost the esteem of her local community. The consequences of this conviction have been absolutely shattering to this young woman.’

Miss Khan, a trainee lawyer at KK Solicitors in Newcastle, was told by sentencing judge Stephen Ashurst that she was lucky to escape jail.

The court heard that her father, Mohammed Khan, 70, drove around for years without a proper licence because he was too proud to admit failing his test several times.

In 2008 he was caught on camera speeding in his Jaguar with personalised number plates.

But when sent a penalty letter, he provided details of a fake person.

The person could not be traced so the penalty notice was discontinued, prosecutor Jacob Dyer told the court.

In August 2010 Mr Khan was caught by another speed camera in Newcastle while driving his daughter Asha’s silver BMW.

When Miss Khan received the speeding notice she claimed the driver was David Moat, 48, who worked for the family.

Moat, an alcoholic, later admitted agreeing to accept the points on behalf of Mr Khan in return for half a bottle of whisky.

The three thought they had got away with it, but their scheme was discovered after an investigation by officials who reported them to police.

Judge Ashurst told Miss Khan: ‘You thought the trick pulled by your father in 2008 could be tried again successfully.’

He added: ‘Offending of this sort goes straight to the heart of the criminal justice system.’

The judge said he accepted that in Miss Khan’s case ‘the author of her misfortune’ had been her own father, whose failing health was likely to be made worse by prison.

She was given ten months, suspended for two years, plus a 12-month supervision order.

Because she is a only trainee, she will not be struck off.

However, her conviction is likely to cause issues if at the end of her training she applies to be on the roll of solicitors, which would allow her to practise.

Those with criminal convictions are required to declare this to the Solicitors Regulation Authority when applying.

A criminal conviction does not necessarily mean an application fails – each case is assessed on an individual basis – but it is likely to count against her.

Mohammed Khan, who admitted perverting the course of justice, was given a nine-month suspended sentence with £650 costs.

His barrister, Robin Patton, said: ‘This is a man whose pride prevented him telling his family he had failed his driving test yet again.

‘It’s not a lie which just embarrasses him in front of his family.

It embarrasses him in front of his whole community. He really feels ashamed of the situation he is in.

‘He stopped going to his mosque some time ago, which has been a major part of his life.

He is embarrassed because they all know now.’ Moat, who was said to have a long history of substance and alcohol abuse, also admitted perverting the course of justice.

He was given a six-month sentence suspended for two years with a 12-month supervision order.

Asha Khan’s brother Kashif, 34, also a solicitor at the same firm, was cleared of any part in the operation in a trial last year.

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