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Rogue taxi driver used unlicensed vehicle

Leicester Magistrates' Courts

A taxi driver who was caught illegally driving passengers to Birmingham Airport has been fined after admitting using an unlicensed and uninsured vehicle.

Chris Taylor of Meadow Close, Stoney Stanton, appeared before the bench at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on 17 January 2024 and pleaded guilty to operating, driving and using the unlicensed and uninsured vehicle.

Magistrates imposed a £276 fine with eight penalty points on his driving licence for the no-insurance offence, a victim surcharge of £110 and awarded £750 in costs to the Council, totalling £1,136.

The prosecution came following an investigation into Taylor by Blaby District Council’s licensing team.

The team received an anonymous complaint in March 2023 alleging Taylor, who was an existing taxi driver, was not using his licensed vehicle to carry out customer trips.

Under the business name Airports 4 U, Taylor was taking bookings and using a vehicle without a taxi licence which meant his insurance was also invalid.

The team found he had visited Birmingham Airport on 9 May 2023 in an unlicensed taxi. He had been identified via the Airport’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

The passengers were contacted and they confirmed the details of their booking. This satisfied the Council that Taylor was responsible for operating and driving an unlicensed and uninsured vehicle, contrary to the requirements of taxi and private hire law.

As a licensed taxi driver with the Council at the time of the offences, Taylor’s licence was revoked in June 2023. The Council were satisfied that Taylor was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a taxi driver licence. Prosecution proceedings were then taken through the Council’s legal representatives Oadby and Wigston Legal.

Councillor Les Phillimore, Blaby District Council Portfolio Holder for Housing, Community and Environmental Services, said: "The vehicle Taylor was using may not have been mechanically safe for the passengers, as well as not having the appropriate vehicle insurance for taxi and private hire journeys. Licensed taxis not only require an MoT but are also tested twice a year at the Council’s Depot to ensure they are roadworthy. Had there been an accident the passengers would not have been insured, making the offence even more serious.

"We are determined to protect the public and aim to ensure only fit and proper persons are licensed by the Council. Appropriate enforcement action will be taken when people break the law. This kind of flagrant flouting of licensing rules will not be tolerated. We want to reassure the public and existing taxi and private hire operators that we will enforce against rogue operators when complaints are received."

 

Councillor Les Phillimore

Councillor Les Phillimore
Portfolio Holder for Housing, Community and Environmental Services



23 January 2024