Agenda item

Conviction of a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - AW

To consider whether any action is required as a result of a court conviction since the grant of a hackney carriage & private hire driver’s licence.

Minutes:

AW was in attendance, accompanied by a Solicitor.

 

The Chair explained the procedure that would be followed and everyone introduced themselves.

 

The Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer introduced the report and summarised it for everyone.

 

The Solicitor stated that he had requested that the hearing be deferred as AW denies the incident occurred and intends to appeal to the Crown Court, although no date for the appeal has been set.

 

The Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer stated that they had received advice from Legal Services which in summary stated that the case should proceed, as the Committee’s function is regulatory and its purpose is to protect the public. It is not for the Committee to decide whether or not someone may or may not be found guilty by the Courts. The Licensee has been found guilty of a serious assault. The Committee needs to apply the Council’s Policy on the offending behaviour unless the Licensee or Representative can convince the Committee to make an exception in this case.

 

The Solicitor advised that AW had pleaded not guilty at his trial. However it was noted that this was contrary to what was stated in the papers and no documentary evidence of this plea could be produced.

 

The Committee adjourned to decide if it would accede to the request for a deferment. Following a discussion and legal advice the Committee decided to refuse the request for a deferment and that the case would be heard.

 

The Solicitor put the case for AW highlighting the following:

 

·                 AW is 36 years old, has a wife and children

·                 He is the only earner in the family and they live in rented accommodation

·                 To put the incident in context, it was a minor incident – a low level assault

·                 AW has no pattern of bad behaviour and was not working at the time

·                 There was a confrontation

·                 There were no passengers involved as he was not acting as a taxi driver at the time

·                 He has been a taxi driver for a number of years and there have no other incidents or issues

·                 He is not a danger to the public

·                 AW is an upstanding member of the community

·                 The Solicitor read out a character reference for AW

 

AW explained that he was dropping his child at school and had to wait for the child to be collected by the teacher. He returned to his car to find a parking ticket on it. He was upset and raised his voice, but did not swear at anyone or touch anyone.

 

The Solicitor summed up AW’s case.

 

The Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer, AW and Solicitor left the room whilst the Committee made its decision.

 

Decision

 

The Members considered very carefully all of the written and verbal evidence presented to them.

 

The Members noted their Policy.

The Members noted the statements made by the Parking Services Officers and that AW had been found guilty by the courts.

They considered that AW was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire or a Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence and therefore decided to revoke both licences.

 

Everyone returned to the room to hear the decision announced.

 

Resolved – that the Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licences held by AW be revoked as he is no longer a fit and proper person to hold the licences.