A BURY man who drove an electric scooter while under the influence of alcohol and with a man on the handlebars has been given a £100 fine.
Minshull Street Court heard 30-year-old Hussain Habib was banned from driving due to a previous high-speed police chase at the time of the incident, but believed he would be allowed to operate the scooter.
The incident involved Habib driving the scooter in Heywood Street, Bury, with two male passengers on it with him.
He was stopped and talked to by the police and found to have been drinking and over the limit on the night.
The court heard Habib, of Rydal Close, suffers from bipolar disorder, which could lead to “erratic” behaviour and this condition had deteriorated at the time of the incident.
He is now receiving help from mental health teams and much more support from his family who now better understand his condition.
Judge Sophie McKone, acknowledged this condition had a part to play in the incident.
Defending Habib, Rachel Cooper said that his family gave him the bike as they believed he would not need a licence to drive it, which the court accepted could be a genuine mistake. It had a top speed of around 15mph.
Ms Cooper also said Habib has “significant mental health issues” which leads to him having alcohol and drugs but the “family are now aware of how it manifests and are re-engaging with the mental health team”.
His family are also going to play more of a role in helping him as they “don’t want to see him before the courts”, she added.
The judge was told that Habib relies on benefits and financial support from him family at the moment but this was his third relevant driving offence in 10 years.
Passing sentence, Judge McKone said: “You drove a scooter with two passengers when you had been drinking, you put your passengers and other road users at risk by your stupid behaviour.
“I do accept, particularly having seen the letter from your sister, a photograph of the scooter you had that you did not believe you were disqualified from driving that vehicle.
“But it was still a very stupid thing to do, being on something that can go up to 15mph while you had been drinking and had people on that small scooter as well.
“You have two previous convictions and both of them very relevant and this is your third offence for driving matters.”
The letter from his sister was “very thorough and well considered” which described Habib’s “not inconsiderable mental health difficulties”.
The death of his father in 2014 was said to have had a significant effect on his mental health leading to a bipolar diagnosis.
Judge McKone said it would be “unjust” to activate his suspended sentence and was instead fined £100 due to his low income.
For driving over the limit, no insurance, no licence and driving while disqualified Habib was ordered to undertake 20 days rehabilitation under a 24-month community order.
He was also ordered to do 40 hours unpaid work. He was also banned from driving for three years which was made clear does not count electric scooters, and means he can now only walk or use a push bike.