A man has been sentenced after police in Chigwell helped link him to a crash on the M25 through saliva left on an airbag. 

The Chigwell policing team were able to identify the driver of a BMW involved in a crash with a van along the M25 towards the M11 at J27 on January 12, 2023. 

An Iveco Daily van was hit by the BMW, causing serious damage to both vehicles and the van to flip onto its side. 

The driver of the BMW fled the scene and was later identified by police as 22-year-old Iram Boubekeur of Emlyn Road, Hammersmith.

On February 22, he was ordered to complete 300 hours of community service and to pay fines totalling £224 for failing to stop and failing to report the collision within 24 hours. 

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Saliva from the steering wheel airbag linked BoubekerSaliva from the steering wheel airbag linked Boubeker (Image: Essex Police)Boubekeur was disqualified from driving for nine months and was issued six points on his licence for failing to nominate the correct driver.

Boubekeur had told police during investigations that he had sold the car days earlier and provided the name of an unknown person when asked to give the name of the driver. 

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Despite this, Chigwell Police pursued investigations and were able to confirm he had been the driver after testing saliva left on the BMW's steering wheel airbag from the crash. 

PC Joe Goodwin said: “Iram Boubekeur went to great lengths to avoid being identified as the driver at the time of the collision, and even denied the offence right up to the last minute.

“He claims to have panicked and fled, but he was complicit in trying to avoid interactions with police. But given the forensic evidence, it was impossible for him to deny driving the car.”

He was sentenced at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.