A BLIND bomb blast victim has been convicted of dangerous driving after getting behind the wheel of a car for a half-mile journey.
Omed Aziz, who lost both eyes and three fingers from his right hand in the explosion in Iraq, followed instructions on steering and braking given by a friend who was banned from driving, Warley Magistrates Court was told yesterday.
Aziz of Birmingham Street, Darlaston, who also has leg tremors and a hearing disorder, pleaded not guilty to driving dangerously on Oldbury Ringway on April 23 but the case was found proven.
It means Aziz becomes the first blind person to be convicted of dangerous driving. He now faces a maximum six-month jail sentence.
At a hearing in July, the 31-year-old also admitted driving without insurance, having no MoT and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.
Yesterday, the court heard that two police officers in an unmarked car – PCs Glyn Austin and Stuart Edge – pulled up Aziz and his passenger, Dlear Ahmed, after their Peugeot 405 car crossed a white centre line. Afterwards it became clear to them that Mr Ahmed had been directing Aziz, who was completely blind.
“When he got out of the car he took his glasses off. He did not have any eyes,” said Mr Austin.
Peter Love, prosecuting, said that when interviewed, Aziz told the officers he had been depressed about his injuries. He had wanted to test his abilities and so had driven with Mr Ahmed instructing him. He had agreed it was a dangerous thing to do and said he would not be attempting to drive again as it was “the biggest mis-take of his life”.
Timothy Gascoyne defending, who did not call Aziz to give evidence, said: “The question in this case is not whether his driving was dangerous but whether being blind made it dangerous.”
The clerk of the court said there was no case of its kind on record to compare it with, the nearest example being a diabetic who knowingly took to the wheel while affected by the condition.
Warley Magistrates Court chairman of the bench, Richard Knight, said it would have been obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in the way Aziz did would be dangerous.
“He showed a complete disregard for any potential dangers which might result in the way the vehicle was being driven,” he said.
Magistrates remanded Aziz on unconditional bail until Monday for reports. n Ahmed was appearing before Wolverhampton Crown Court today for a plea and directions hearing charged with aiding and abetting dangerous driving.
I’m not sure what the stupidest part of this story is. That the silly fucker actually did it, or that he pleaded not guilty to the charge of dangerous driving!!