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Texting peer gets prison

12 weeks for dangerous driving

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Lord Ahmed, charged with dangerous driving after sending text messages shortly before hitting a car on the M1, has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Ahmed was driving his Jaguar on Christmas Day 2007 when he hit a stationary car in the fast lane, killing the 28-year-old driver.

Three minutes before he used his mobile to call emergency services, it had been used to send a text message. The Sentencing Advisory Panel suggests using a mobile phone aggravates any driving offence because it is an avoidable distraction.

Lord Ahmed pleaded guilty to dangerous driving last year.

According to the BBC the trial judge said the texting was not connected to the fatal incident, but using a mobile phone while driving at speeds of 60mph was highly dangerous and only a custodial sentence would be appropriate.

Ahmed, who was driving his wife and mother, said shortly after the accident: "There was a red car in the third lane facing the wrong way and there was nothing I could do... It was absolutely horrendous, but I don't want to talk about it.”

A spokeswoman for Sheffield Crown Court said Ahmed got 12 weeks in prison, a 12 month driving ban and six points on his licence. He must also pay £500 prosecution costs.

Lord Watson of Invergowrie was the last peer to do time. He was sentenced for setting fire to a Scottish hotel after an awards ceremony. ®

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