A cab driver has been banned from the roads after falling asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle and crashing into a tree.
Azhar Iqbal, 41, of Derby, initially claimed that he crashed after swerving to avoid a fox but later admitted he lied to Derby City Council licensing authority.
Iqbal eventually pleaded guilty to dangerous driving. Judge Gregory Dickinson QC, the Recorder of Nottingham, gave him a community order for 12 months, 50 hours of unpaid work, a 12-month driving ban, and ordered he pay £500 towards costs and a victim surcharge.
Nottingham Crown Court heard that Iqbal had been behind the wheel of his vehicle on the eastbound carriageway of the A52, close to where it meets junction 25 of the M1, on February 9 last year at around noon when the car drifted off the road, clipping the near side crash barriers, and ending up in trees on an embankment.
A man and woman witnessed the incident from their vehicle which was following closely behind. They said they saw the vehicle veer to the right of the carriageway and then to the left.
When they overtook the driver, he had his chin touching his neck and his heading looking down.
As reported by the Nottingham Live, barrister David Lee said Iqbal had worked as a cab driver for ten years "without blemish", and now has a job at a warehouse.
"He has lost his licence as a result of this," he told the court. "He was allowed to drive on a personal licence until today. He has lost a good, well paid job as a taxi driver. He had a number of long term contracts driving people around."
He said there was no "neurological explanation" for the incident and "he has to accept, therefore, on that day he was more tired and warm, and he obviously fell asleep."
Iqbal had said he was "feeling a little under the weather that day".