A MAN caught drug driving told a court that he had taken cocaine because he was fed up after suffering coronavirus

Nabeel Tabassum went to the shops and was returning home when police stopped his Toyota Aygo car near his Glendale Drive, Ladybridge home.

Leigh Morgan, prosecuting at Bolton Magistrates’ Court, told how a roadside drug test was positive and a further test at the police station showed that 27-year-old Tabassum had a large amount of cocaine in his system.

Tabassum pleaded guilty to drug driving and the court heard that he has three previous convictions, although none for driving related matters.

Damian Zelazowski, defending, stressed that Tabassum had co-operated fully with police.

“The reason he had taken the substance is the same reason a lot of people are having difficulties at the moment,” said Mr Zelazowski.

“He had had coronavirus — he had been isolating and been home by himself for quite some time.

“His family had been around but he hadn’t been seeing anybody else and was feeling quite low and wanting to lift his mood.

“He accepts that he didn’t do that in the right way by taking the substance.

“He doesn’t use that as an excuse, merely by way of an explanation.”

Mr Zelazowski added that married Tabassum, who lives with his parents and siblings, had been asked by his mother to do some shopping and was on his way home at 11.45pm on September 13 last year when he was stopped.

He described Tabassum, who has two jobs working at garages, as a hard-working young man who “made a mistake”.

“Luckily it is at the dead of night, nobody is around and no one if harmed but he understands that this type of behaviour is frowned on by the courts because it can lead to such awful accidents,” he said.

Magistrates fined Tabassum £519 plus £85 towards prosecution costs and a £52 victim surcharge. In addition he was banned from driving for 17 months.