three jailed for four months after being wrongly accused of having a fake photo on his driving licence
Innocent Syed Manzoor spent four months in Strangeways after being arrested and charged on suspicion of having a forged provisional licence which then turned out to be real
Mr Manzoor, who had no previous convictions, was held at Strangeways in Manchester until the DVLA finally confirmed his licence was genuine.
The 51 year old said: ‘It was terrifying in jail there were fights all the time and banging and shouting. No one could believe what I was in there for.
‘I’m very angry. I’ve never been in trouble with the police before. When I first got to Strangeways I was shaking with fear.
One of the officers thought DVLA issued licences did not have colour photos and so Mr Manzoor, of Rusholme, was arrested on suspicion of carrying a false ID document with intent despite producing other ID including a National Insurance number, an NHS card and a bank card.
Even though photocard licences issued before 2007 do have colour pictures, fake identity websites Mr Manzoor was charged after interview and a night in the cells.
It is understood police contacted the DVLA but the Crown Prosecution Service made the decision to charge.
Mr Manzoor, a former merchant seaman, said he is considering legal action.
His solicitor Darren Langton, of Manchester firm Keith Dyson, said: ‘Mr Manzoor is the victim of a shocking chain of events.
‘It’s very rare that you have someone in custody over a provisional licence. There was never a case against him simple checks should have prevented this massive waste of money.’
Divisional Crown prosecutor Mark Callaghan said: ‘A decision was made to charge the defendant with possession of a false identity document with improper intent on the evidence available at that time.’
He said the case was kept under review until the CPS received confirmation from the DVLA that the driving licence was genuine.
A DVLA spokesman said it was ‘urgently investigating’ the case, and that if errors had been made ‘immediate action’ would be taken to avoid a repeat.
Superintendent Serena Kennedy, best fake id sites of Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘As this matter involved GMP dealing with a number of key partners, we are reviewing the full circumstances leading up to this man’s arrest and charge.’
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