A former gang member who turned his life around via the used car industry has narrowly avoided being thrown back in jail for arming himself with a flick knife.
Zayn Adam was caught in possession of the weapon while out in his car after being placed under surveillance by police, who had received a tip off that he may be armed.
The 33-year-old told officers that he had turned his back on a life of crime but was carrying the weapon to protect himself from members of rival gangs, who he feared could still attack him.
He was arrested at the scene after police found the knife in a pouch on the driver’s seat and has now appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.
During a hearing held last Thursday (Jan 4), he admitted to possessing an offensive weapon in public.
The Leicester Mercury reports that Adam, formerly known as Farhan Loonat, was released from prison in 2020, having previously been convicted of burglary during his gang days.
Since then, the court heard he has transformed his life and now runs his own used car business – Zanota Motors – which employs four people.
Kally Sahota, representing Adam, told magistrates: ‘It’s a successful business and has good Auto Trader reviews.
‘He’s dedicated to his business and where he is now. He has four employees and works long hours and weekends.’
According to Auto Trader, Adam’s Zanota Motors currently has eight cars in stock ranging from a £6,500 Volkswagen Polo all the way up to a Nissan GT-R, which is priced just under £60,000.
Prosecutor, Ravinder Daroch, added ‘The defendant said he was previously chased by gang members. He said the knife was there just for protection.’
Adam, who changed his name to protect himself against his former associates, is now expecting a baby with his partner.
After hearing all the evidence, the court sentenced the Saxthorpe Road resident to four months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to pay a £154 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.
The offence took place on December 10.