Iraqi driver thought he 'would be shot'

A TERRIFIED Iraqi national fled the scene of a car crash because he feared he would be shot at.The teenager, now living in Ipswich, ran across a field after causing a vehicle to flip over with its occupants inside.

A TERRIFIED Iraqi national fled the scene of a car crash because he feared he would be shot at.

The teenager, now living in Ipswich, ran across a field after causing a vehicle to flip over with its occupants inside.

Speaking through an interpreter the 17-year-old admitted driving without due care and attention, driving without a licence, insurance or Mot and failing to stop after an accident on June 1.

David Taylor, prosecuting, said the youngster was driving in front of another car on the A1152 at Rendlesham when he pulled off the road.

He immediately pulled back onto the road in the path of the car behind him. The impact caused the vehicle following to roll on its side, South East Suffolk Magistrates heard.

The driver suffered a cut arm and a passenger sustained a small cut and graze on their hand and arm.

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"All the occupants were obviously shaken up by it," said Mr Taylor, who added: "The defendant and his passenger made off on foot across the fields pursued by the witnesses."

Roger Stewart, mitigating, explained why the youngster ran. "In Iraq when this sort of thing happens he was likely to have been beaten up by the occupants of the other vehicle or even shot."

He did not run far and was arrested.

The court heard the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, came over to the UK from Iraq to escape persecution.

"His father previously worked for the regime and tried to stop working for the regime and was arrested," said Mr Stewart. "It put pressure on the rest of the family."

As the youngster had not been in the UK for long he was not familiar with its laws and culture.

"Frankly the proceedings terrified him," said Mr Stewart.

He told magistrates the youngster pulled off the road onto a concrete area at the bottom of a dip because he wanted to go to the toilet. He returned to his car and pulled out of the dip when accident happened. His vision was limited because of the dip.

"The defendant bought the car a day or two before the crash and was assured it was in good condition," said Mr Stewart.

After the accident the car was examined and found to have defective brakes.

The teenager admitted using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

In sentencing bench chairman Tony Baker said: "These matters are serious which resulted in injuries to other people and another car."

He sentenced him to a nine-month referral order and a nine month driving ban .

He was also ordered to pay £300 compensation for the damage to the other car.

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