Drunk e-scooter rider is banned from driving after breaking dog's leg

Drunk e-scooter rider, 31, is banned from driving for 12 months after falling off and breaking his dog’s leg in London’s Hyde Park

  • Ramin Jabbari fell off an e-scooter while carrying his dog in London’s Hyde Park
  • The dog’s leg was broken in the accident, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard
  • Privately-owned e-scooters remain illegal on Britain’s roads and pavements
  • Jabbari pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle over the limit and with no insurance

An e-scooter salesman has been banned from the road for 12 months after falling off his scooter whilst drunk with his dog in Hyde Park.

The pet was in a bag attached to the scooter ‘because it was raining’ and suffered a broken leg in the accident on Boxing Day. 

Ramin Jabbari, 31, ‘slurred’ his words when police found him with a cut lip in the central London Royal Park following a tip-off from a concerned passer-by. 

The businessman pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle over the legal alcohol limit and with no insurance when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

He was not charged with a separate count of injuring the dog, which he described as his ‘pride and joy’.

Jabbari, who sells e-scooters on his website for nearly £700 each, claimed he was ‘unaware’ that driving an e-scooter was illegal, and thought he would be allowed to use it after drinking wine at a friend’s house that evening.

Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal on Britain’s roads and pavements, with riders at risk of a £300 fixed penalty notice and six points on their driving licence if stopped by police.

Ramin Jabbari, 31, (pictured right) pleaded to driving a vehicle over the limit and with no insurance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court following the Boxing Day fall (pictured left outside court)

The court heard that Jabbari was heading to his home in Camden, north London, through Hyde Park at around 9.30pm on December 26 last year.

A member of the public heard a dog cry out in pain and rushed over to Jabbari who was standing near a traffic island in the park.

Malachy Pakenham, prosecuting, said: ‘Just because you can purchase something, it’s not legal to use one of these on the road.

‘The Home Office is carrying out some studies but they haven’t been authorised.

‘Regardless, you need insurance and you need a licence. You can’t just purchase it and ride it away. That is the law.’

‘The defendant in this matter had gone out for a drink with a friend, and drank some wine on 26 December, colloquially known as Boxing Day.

‘Police were called by a member of the public about a man who had fallen off an electric scooter and possibly had a head injury.’

Quoting the member of the public’s witness statement, the woman said: ‘At around 9.30pm I was walking in the Triangle car park which is off West Carriage Road when I heard a dog screaming in distress from about 70 metres away.

‘I saw a male standing there and he had fallen off his electric scooter.

Jabbari, who sells e-scooters on his website for nearly £700 each, claimed he was ‘unaware’ that driving an e-scooter was illegal

‘The male was stood with both of his hands on his hip and looking at a dog which was inside a bag that was attached to the scooter.

‘It was dark, raining and freezing cold. I was concerned for the dog and for him. I said that I heard his dog screaming and did he need any help.

‘He said he had lost his balance and that he had fallen off his scooter and broken his tooth.

‘I said he’d need medical attention. He was struggling to stand because of what appeared to be intoxication.

‘I said, ‘Have you checked if your dog is ok’. Due to the state of the dog I checked on it as I was really concerned.

Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal on Britain’s roads and pavements, with riders at risk of a £300 fixed penalty notice and six points on their driving licence if stopped by police. Pictured, stock image of an electronic scooter 

‘He became hostile and dismissive and told me to leave me alone.

‘I was still concerned for the dog so I crouched down to touch it and he said, ‘Don’t touch my dog’.

‘I realised his behaviour was erratic and I turned away very worried. I believed he was drunk or mentally unstable so I called the police.’

The prosecutor added: ‘Police responded to the call and found the defendant sitting on a traffic island who had a minor cut to his upper lip.

‘The defendant said he had been riding his e-scooter with his dog in a bag and fell off. He had a slurred voice and appeared confused and intoxicated.

‘The police officer administered a roadside breath test which was positive.

‘In custody the sergeant administered a breath test and found he had 50 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35.

‘He was subsequently charged and interviewed. He was asked a series of questions and he didn’t answer most of them. He was duly charged and bailed to attend court today.

‘He’s a man of good character and has no previous convictions.’

Jabbari, representing himself, stood in the dock wearing a pale blue shirt, jeans and dark coat, said: ‘Unfortunately I really didn’t know it’s against the law to drive an electric scooter.

‘I’ve been driving for five years and I’ve never had a ticket. I’ve never been in trouble. I’ve been here for 10 years. I’ve worked hard. I’ve never been in trouble.

‘I’m really sorry that it happened. The thing that the woman said, I was in concussion, I was in a semi-conscious state. It was a bit of the alcohol, it was the shock from the incident.’

Jabbari fell from his e-scooter in Hyde Park (pictured, stock photo) in central London. None of those pictured were involved in the incident

He pleaded with magistrates to allow him to keep his licence as he has a warehouse in Clacton-On-Sea, Essex, from which he also sells eco-friendly charcoal toothbrush heads on his website Edinco.

Fines and points on your driving licence: The penalties for using e-scooters on Britain’s roads and pavements

Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal on Britain’s roads and pavements.

Riders at risk of a £300 fixed penalty notice if stopped by police.  

Officers can also issue up to six points on an offender’s driving licence. 

Some of the scooters currently on sale in the UK can reach speeds in excess of 40mph. 

In July last year, the Government made it legal for rental companies to hire out e-scooters in 30 cities and towns. 

Users must be over 16, have a driving licence and the scooters must be limited to a top speed of 15.5mph.

At least 30 towns and cities will run trials of the technology for the next 12 months. 

They have already been launched in Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Coventry and Northampton. 

He said: ‘I started a new business. I’ve designed stuff, get them made, and I need to bring stock back with me from the warehouse.

‘I know, sincerely, I’m guilty and I know that, but it will never happen again.’

Magistrates questioned why Jabbari was not also facing a separate charge for injuring the dog.

Chair Gay Cheyne said: ‘We are concerned for the dog. We have heard from a witness that has described the dog as screaming. Is there not a separate charge for this?’

The prosecutor responded: ‘There is a high threshold with the Animal’s Act. It has to be more than being reckless or being stupid.

‘You might think he’s pretty stupid for putting a dog in a bag in a scooter while drunk, but there isn’t a law I can think of that would fit that.

‘It’s an aggravating feature as the dog was in some distress.’

Responding, Jabbari said: ‘That dog is my pride and joy. I only put it in the bag because it was raining. I wouldn’t want it hurt.’

Sentencing Jabbari, Ms Cheyne told him: ‘You now know that what you did is illegal. These electric scooters are not even legal.

‘You were on the road on a motor vehicle and you now know the laws that apply to road users apply to you.

‘You have acknowledged that and pleaded guilty. We are obliged to disqualify you from driving for 12 months.’

Jabbari said he would take the driving rehabilitation course which will cut the disqualification by 13 weeks, as well as pay fines of £285 within seven days.

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