Vascular surgeon convicted of
perverting the course of justice
after lying about speeding offence
A vascular surgeon received a suspended prison sentence and was ordered to pay more than £2000 for lying about a speeding offence.
Truro Crown Court heard that a vehicle belonging to Wisam Taha, a vascular surgeon from Birmingham, was detected by a safety camera at 89mph in a 70mph limit on the A30 at Dunheved, Cornwall on May 15, 2018.
On receiving his Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) Mr Taha, completed, signed and returned the form, nominating a Hungarian male as the driver.
A NIP was sent to the address provided in Hungary but the man could not be traced. Mr Taha was contacted again and this time he provided an address in Canada for the alleged driver.
Mr Taha, who denied ever visiting Cornwall, claimed that he had loaned his car to the individual while he was on holiday in the UK. Only Mr Taha and his wife were insured on the vehicle.
PC Abi Bedson, of the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership, whose role it is to investigate all 'questionable' nominations, made further enquiries about the person named by Mr Taha, while another NIP was sent to the Canadian address.
Enquiries were also made with Treliske Hospital in Truro regarding Mr Taha working there on a locum basis.
The NIP sent to Canada was returned with ‘not known at this address.’ Mr Taha was again contacted and provided a story that he had spoken to his elderly father in Hungary asking for further addresses and stating he had done everything in his power to provide an address for the male.
PC Bedson made contact with Mr Taha and even provided him with an image of the driver of the vehicle, captured at the time of the offence using cameras that have an effective range over 1000m. Despite the driver bearing a striking resemblance to Mr Taha, he maintained it was the Hungarian male.
Mr Taha finally admitted that he had visited Cornwall and that he had worked occasionally at Treliske, but maintained he was not the driver. He was unable to account for why there was no record of the male he had nominated entering or leaving the United Kingdom even close to the dates he had provided.
Mr Taha was convicted of perverting the course of justice on May 3, 2019. Judge Linford sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment suspended, a fine of £2000 and ordered him to pay costs of £300 plus a victim surcharge.
PC Bedson said: "Mr Taha obviously did not expect the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership and the police officers working within it to actually examine his claim of an international nomination. He tried to lie his way out of a speeding ticket that would have added 3 points on his licence and a small fine to the one he finally received.
She added: “All nominations for internationally based drivers are followed up. There seems to be a misconception that we will accept them on face value, when in fact we follow up and investigate every nomination.
“This conviction and those of Count Alexy Kimmenade and Fiona Onsanya, who tried exactly the same a few months back, reinforces the fact that these offences are not taken lightly and even with previous good character a prison sentence is a real possibility."