Relative of Rotherham child sex gang member uses father's conviction as mitigation for dangerous driving charge

The relative of a man jailed over the Rotherham grooming scandal has pleaded with a judge to spare him a prison sentence for dangerous driving, after he claimed the backlash to his conviction had caused him emotional trauma.
The relative of a man jailed over the Rotherham grooming scandal has pleaded with a judge to spare him a prison sentence for dangerous driving, after he claimed the backlash to his conviction had caused him emotional trauma.
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The relative of a man jailed over the Rotherham grooming scandal has pleaded with a judge to spare him a prison sentence for dangerous driving, after he claimed the backlash to his conviction had caused him emotional trauma.

During a sentencing at Sheffield Crown Court today Shiraz Ali, of Clough Road, Masborough fell to be sentenced for a string of motoring offences, including dangerous driving; relating to a police chase that saw him drive along busy pavements and mount roundabouts.

Defending, Michael Collins, told the court that since Ali's 54-year-old father Ajeed Ali, also of Clough Lane, Masborough, had been jailed for rape in March last year as part of his involvement in a Rotherham child sex gang, that it had fallen to him to act as the 'father' in his family.

Mr Collins said this had placed a large amount of pressure on Ali, 23, who wept throughout this morning's hearing which he attended via video link from HMP Doncaster.

Ali's 19-year-old brother Kaleem Ali, of Clough Road, Masborough, was also found guilty of intimidating a witness in the trial involving their father last year; and Mr Collins said this had caused Ali's family to be targeted by members of the public since their relatives' criminality had been written about in the press.

He said this had caused him, and his family, stress and emotional difficulties.

Prior to the offence taking place on April 8 this year, Mr Collins told the court that Ali had been to visit his father in prison who was continuing to protest his innocence and this had been on his mind when police asked him to pull over.

Prosecuting, David Wain, told the court how officers on duty just outside Masborough at around 4.50pm asked the defendant to pull over due to the excessive speed he was travelling at in a cul-de-sac in a black Vauxhall vehicle he had taken without his wife's permission.

This led to officers pursuing Ali, who during the chase reached speeds of up to 60mph in a 30mph zone, mounted and went the wrong way around a roundabout and driving onto a busy pavement where pedestrians had to run out of the way to avoid being hit.

Mr Wain told the court that Ali only stopped when he collided with an unoccupied vehicle, at which point he reversed into it and drove into the adjacent lane.

A police car then blocked Ali in, at which point he attempted to 'ram' it in a bid to escape once more, but this was unsuccessful.

Ali was then charged with aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and use of a motor vehicle without third party insurance, which he admitted to at an earlier hearing.

In mitigation, Mr Collins also asked Recorder David Dixon to consider Ali's poor mental health, for which he told the court Ali had attempted to treat by ordering antidepressants online.

Recorder Dixon sentenced Ali to 14 months in prison, and disqualified him from driving for three years.

He said: "Your driving here was as bad as the courts see.

"You drove around the roundabout the wrong way. You went round corners at such speed that you mounted the wrong curb and you drove along the pavement where pedestrians had to move out of the way.

"For you, custody will be difficult, not because of you but because of who your family are. 14 months is the lowest sentence I can pass."