THREE Bradford men, including a cab driver, have avoided immediate jail time, after admitting paying someone else to take care of a speeding fine for them.

The men, Mohammed Yasin, 57, Masawar Ali, 52, and Mohammed Banaras, 36, all passed off their notice of intended prosecution from the police to a third party, who filled out the form on their behalf.

But the police became suspicious when the same name, Sharjeel Jelani, cropped up on a number of forms, with different addresses – using similar handwriting. The real Mr Jelani faced magistrates’ court in two of the incidents, and received a county count judgment against his name for unpaid fines.

Yasin of Hastings Place, Ali, of Ambleside Avenue, and Banaras, of Westfield Road, all pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and were sentenced to five months in prison, suspended for two years. They must also complete the maximum 300 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months.

Prosecutor Jeremy Barton told Bradford Crown Court that the men, who did not know one another, had tried to “avoid prosecution” through the scheme, which had ended up affecting victim Mr Jelani’s finances and ability to insure a vehicle.

The men had been travelling between 30 and 40mph in 30 zones when they were caught by speed cameras.

Judge Colin Burn said it was a “blatant attempt to defraud road traffic enforcement and therefore the justice system”.

Nadim Bashir for Yasin, who was caught speeding on December 12, 2014, on the A6177, said he faced losing the car he used as a private hire driver if he got points on his licence, panicked and paid someone £150. Shufqat Khan for Ali, who was caught speeding on the A647, on April 21, 2015, said he had been concerned about the impact on his job at a tyre garage and paid someone £80 out of “sheer stupidity”. David Bradshaw for Banaras, who was caught speeding on Thornton Road on August 3, 2015, said it had been a “foolish act”.

In a statement released after the hearing, Paul Jeffrey, Casualty Reduction and Prosecutions Manager for West Yorkshire Police, said: “We hope this serves as a reminder to others that it’s best to be honest if you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution in the post.

“We proactively identify patterns of false or suspicious driver nominations and we are pursuing a number of similar cases across West Yorkshire, with the intention of bringing charges against those who are found to have given false information.

“Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice is a serious offence which can result in a custodial sentence, so we would urge people to think ‘is it worth risking your liberty for?’ before they consider giving false details.

“West Yorkshire Police works closely with the Casualty Reduction Partnership to reduce the number of serious collisions through speed camera enforcement and education of motorists to make the roads safer for all.

“Speed limits are there for a reason and all speeding offences will be dealt with fairly and in accordance with the law.”