The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 49/15, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The applicant, who was in attendance at the meeting, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.
The Senior Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) in the submitted report. Further offences relating to food hygiene issues were detailed on the applicants DBS certificate but these had not been detailed in the report as they were considered not relevant to the application.
The applicant had previously been licensed as a taxi driver by Middlesbrough Council, however, the records in relation to his licensing history had now been destroyed.
The applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 2 December 2015 at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and offered an explanation in relation to the offences detailed at 1).
The applicant confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee.
The applicant presented the case in support of his application and responded to questions from Members and the Councils legal representative.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Councils Legal Services and Members Office, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.
Subsequently all interested parties returned and the Chair announced the Committees decision.
ORDERED that the application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 49/15, be refused as the Committee did not consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence for the following reasons:-
The Councils Policy Guidance on convictions, cautions and complaints stated that an applicant convicted of a serious offence, or more than one offence, involving drugs would normally be refused an application or have their licence revoked unless a period of at least 5-10 years free from conviction had elapsed since the date of conviction or completion of any sentence imposed, whichever was the later. The applicant was convicted of two serious drug offences and had been sentenced to 90 months imprisonment. The applicant confirmed that he was released in 2010, on licence, meaning that his sentence had not been completed until 2013. Therefore, this did not fit within the Councils guidance of 5-10 years free from conviction.
In relation to the Confiscation Order, the Committee highlighted that the Courts believed that the applicant had made a large sum of money from criminal activity and that this needed to be taken into account and did not correspond with the applicants version of events.
The applicant was reminded of his Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the date of the decision.