Unlicensed taxi driver caught and fined
An unlicensed taxi driver was ordered to pay £918 in fines and legal costs after being prosecuted by St Albans City and District Council.
Mohammed Tufayel Ahmed was licensed by the Council as a taxi driver in 2013 but failed to renew when his licence expired in August last year despite being sent reminder letters.
The Council later received a complaint in January this year that Mr Ahmed was spotted touting for business near a taxi rank and picked up a paying customer.
An investigation was launched and a study of CCTV footage appeared to capture the incident involving a Mercedes car owned by Ahmed.
Daniel Pattenden, the Council’s Environmental Health Manager, told St Albans Magistrates Court in a witness statement that he asked Mr Ahmed to an interview to discuss the incident.
He was questioned under caution and afterwards sent an email apologising for his conduct.
Mr Ahmed, of Marshall Avenue, St Albans, admitted to the Court a charge of plying for hire and was fined £80.
He was also fined £40 after admitting driving a paying passenger without a private hire licence.
Magistrates also ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £48 and £750 towards the Council’s costs.
Councillor Chris White, Lead Councillor for Taxi Licensing, said:
This was a successful prosecution brought by our licensing team.
It shows that we will take vigorous action against any individual or organisation that breaches the licensing regulations we are responsible for.
The regulations are there to protect our residents and ensure that high standards are met. Our licensed taxi drivers, for example, must show they are properly qualified, insured, free of criminal convictions and do not pose a risk to the public.
We cannot allow unlicensed drivers to pick up paying customers and this prosecution is a warning to anyone thinking of doing that.
The Magistrates Court hearing took place on Wednesday 30 August.
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