Bedfordshire restaurant owner jailed for speeding lie

A man who runs two restaurants in Bedfordshire has been jailed for three months for lying over who was driving his car when it was caught speeding.

Mohammed Rauf, of Bedford, was described by Judge Richard Foster as "a beacon" in his community who made "the most terrible criminal mistake".

The 56-year-old denied attempting to pervert the course of justice over an incident in September 2010.

He was convicted by a jury in November and sentenced at Luton Crown Court.

The father of seven, of High Street, had also been given a six-month driving ban and a £200 fine.

The court heard his Audi was caught speeding at more than the 30mph limit in Dunton, and when asked to give details of the driver he named another man.

'One foolish mistake'

He had nine points on his licence at the time and was in jeopardy of being banned, said prosecutor Emilie Pottle.

Stephen Akinsanya, for Rauf, said: "He is the head and the lynchpin of the business, and an integral part of his family, and is thought of very highly.

"Everything he has built up over 30 years he has placed on the line through one foolish mistake."

Judge Foster told Rauf: "It is tragic and sad to see you before the criminal courts.

"You have been a beacon in your community, running a successful business and paying your taxes and giving back to society in Bedford and Bangladesh.

"But you made the most terrible criminal mistake when you were caught for speeding and lied about the driver.

"When you were persistently challenged about that, rather than facing up to reality and coming clean, you carried on with that falsehood even before a jury who convicted you on overwhelming evidence."

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