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Driving instructor Majid Arshad of Gillingham hit his pupil with a ruler

By Rachel Dixon

A driving instructor has been found guilty of using a metal ruler to strike a student with when she made mistakes.

Medway woman Kayleigh Lewis says she was hit with the piece of stationery each time she stalled the car.

On Monday, Majid Arshad appeared at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court charged with assault by beating.

Majid Arshad appeared at Maidstone Magistrates' Court
Majid Arshad appeared at Maidstone Magistrates' Court

On Monday, Majid Arshad appeared at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court charged with assault by beating.

The father-of-five denied the allegation but was convicted.

Mrs Lewis has told how she became concerned soon after starting the lessons in February last year.

The 29-year-old Luton resident said: “It was horrific. I booked a block of 20 lessons, and did five, which is 10 hours.

“From start to finish they were horrendous, he made me feel unsafe.

“He had a pink ruler in his car and he used it to strike my leg when I stalled or changed the gears wrongly.

“This happened in the first, second, third and fourth lessons.”

Kayleigh Lewis was hit with a ruler while taking her lessons. Picture: iStock image
Kayleigh Lewis was hit with a ruler while taking her lessons. Picture: iStock image

She added: “I hadn’t had lessons before, I didn’t know what to expect and I was scared.

“By the fifth lesson I realised something was wrong, so I decided to stop and ask for my money back.

“I did not get any refund.

“He also made comments about my gender and sexuality that made me feel uncomfortable in the car.”

Arshad, of Kingsnorth Road, Gillingham, was given a 12-month community order.

He has to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £100 compensation to Mrs Lewis.

The 38-year-old was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and £620 court costs.

Speaking to the Messenger after sentencing, he revealed he plans to appeal.

He said: “I did not hit her with a ruler, I used the ruler as a tool to demonstrate how much pressure she needed to put on the clutch.”

He denied claims about how he’d spoken to Mrs Lewis describing them as “ridiculous”.

He said she “just wants to bring me down” and says the reason she reported him to police was because there was a delay in her receiving part of her money back.

The driving lessons were booked through A-Class, which has since suspended Arshad until further notice.

Company manager Jason Wilson said: “We pride ourselves on being a leading driving school and this is an isolated incident.

"It is regrettable we are dealing with this. In 15 years, we have never had something like this."

Majid Arshad was found guilty of assault
Majid Arshad was found guilty of assault

Mr Wilson has offered his apologies for the slight delay in Mrs Lewis receiving the refund.

She received £210 back for the ten lessons she did not complete.

There could be further trouble ahead for Arshad with news the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is investigating.

The organisation regulates driving instructors across Britain.

Its deputy approved driving instructor registrar, Nick Taylor, said: “We take the safety of learner drivers very seriously and will thoroughly investigate complaints, involving the police where necessary.

“In all cases of criminal convictions, we will investigate and take action.

“This includes removing instructors from the register.”

Mrs Lewis has since started lessons with another instructor and hopes to pass her test soon.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

For information on how we can report on court proceedings, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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