A banned driver who lied to police before being found with cannabis has avoided jail time.

Amar Azam was stopped by police on the M25 in the Watford area on May 17 around 7pm before telling an officer that he did not have any ID.

It was then that the 34-year-old gave the officer a fake name – and when asked if he could show his ID through his phone Azam claimed it had died.

St Albans Magistrates’ Court heard that the officer carried out a search of the car and had found some herbal cannabis and a ‘spliff’.

Checks also revealed that Azam had no insurance in place and he was arrested.

He was taken to Hatfield Police Station, where prints taken from Azam revealed his identity to police.

The court was told that he was also found to be a disqualified driver.

Azam, of Garden Court, Luton, pleaded guilty on June 18 to being in possession of cannabis/cannabis resin, obstructing a constable in execution of duty, driving without third party insurance and driving whilst disqualified.

The court heard that Azam, who has several previous driving convictions, was banned from driving a few years ago and had been extended before finishing in February 2020.

But because Azam did not do an extended retest he was still disqualified at the time of the offence.

In mitigation, the court was told that Azam had been driving his uncle’s car for a delivery and agreed to go as he did not want to admit to his uncle that he was still disqualified - and could not find another excuse to get out of going.

He had also been complying with an existing community order placed on him.

Azam was told that the offence he committed was “extremely serious” and was given eight weeks’ jail time for driving whilst disqualified and one week for lying to a police officer.

But this was suspended for 12 months, which means if he commits any further offences he will go to prison.

No separate penalty was imposed for being in possession of cannabis or driving without insurance, although his driving record will be endorsed.

He was also ordered to pay £213 in costs and complete several rehabilitation requirement days.

An order was also made for the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.

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