The man behind an infamous Leeds-based YouTube channel that featured him driving performance cars dangerously and at high speed on busy public roads at serious risk to the public has been convicted in court.
Adeel Habib, aged 25, from Harehills, who ran the ‘Certi Drivers’ channel which had more than 68,000 subscribers, pleaded guilty to both dangerous driving and a relatively rare offence of encouraging dangerous driving under the Serious Crime Act 2007.
Habib committed the offences between December 2020 and October 2021.
In the videos uploaded to his YouTube channel, Habib mounted a GoPro to his head and filmed his driving as he undertook cars full of families on busy roads.
Following an investigation by officers from the Leeds North-East Neighbourhood Policing Team, he was charged with various offences.
Habib came to officers’ attention during work to target dangerous driving, and anti-social behaviour at illegal car meets in Leeds and West Yorkshire that were attracting large numbers of people from across the region to industrial estates, retail parks and the road network.
Operations involving roads policing officers and other specialist resources were put in place to disrupt and deter the Sunday evening events that generally started from Habib’s Certi Touch workshop, in Florence Street, Harehills.
Neighbourhood policing officers looked over hours of online videos posted by Habib to build up an evidential picture of his own dangerous driving and his ability to encourage others to follow his bad example.
Clips showed him driving a range of high-performance cars dangerously on public roads, including at excessive speeds, weaving in and out of traffic, racing other drivers, and ignoring red traffic lights.
While under investigation for the driving offences, Habib was sentenced to four years imprisonment for his part in a large drugs supply conspiracy.
He subsequently pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and an offence of ‘doing an act which was capable of encouraging or assisting dangerous driving, intending to encourage or assist in its commission.’
He appeared at Leeds Crown Court by videolink on 21st June and was sentenced to 27 months – to run concurrent with his drug-dealing sentence – and was disqualified from driving.
Inspector Richard Horn, who heads the Leeds North-East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:
“Habib has been shown to be someone who regularly engaged in dangerous driving on public roads with all the potential risk of harm to other road users that accompanies such appalling behaviour.
“He was absolutely shameless about it and showed utter contempt for law-abiding road users and the law by regularly posting videos of his antics to impress his many followers.
“Those videos and the notoriety that surrounded his ‘brand’ clearly had the ability to influence others to flout road traffic laws and put other road users at risk, and he was rightly charged with an offence that specifically recognised that aspect of his behaviour.
“His own arrogance was his downfall in that those videos provided us with a rich seam of material to present to the court and have him answer for his actions.
“We hope his conviction and the sentence he has received will provide some source of reassurance to the public who I am sure will have been horrified by his dangerous driving and glamorising of it.
“It should also send a very clear message to those who think they can take part in and promote criminal behaviour in this way without having to face the consequences.”
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