Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 14 January 2019
Time:
1:00 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor J A Walker (Chair), Councillor T Higgins (Vice Chair), Councillor R Arundale, Councillor S Dean, Councillor J Goodchild, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor A Hellaoui.
Officers:
S. Bonner, C Cunningham and S Wearing.
Apologies for absence:
Councillor S Biswas, Councillor L Lewis, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor D Rooney, Councillor R Brady
Declarations of interest:
Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor Jeanette Walker Non-Pecuniary Agenda Item 5 (known to driver).
Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
18/54 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 10 DECEMBER 2018.

The minutes were submitted and accepted as a true record.

18/55 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC.

ORDERED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that, if present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

EXEMPT
Director of Culture and Communities
18/56 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF NO: 2/19

The Director of Culture and Communities submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Applicant Licence, Ref: 2/19, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

**DECLARATION OF INTEREST

 

At this point in the meeting Councillor Jeanette Walker declared a non-pecuniary interest in relation to the following item and withdrew from the meeting.

 

Councillor Teresa Higgins in the Chair.

 

The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed and confirmed that the any inaccuracies contained within the report should have been reported to the Licensing department prior to the meeting.

The driver, who was in attendance at the meeting, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report and understood its contents.

The Principal Licensing Officer summarised the report and advised Members that the driver had previously appeared before the Committee on the 11 June 2018 due to offences and complaints listed in the report:-

 

Offence 1) Speeding - 11 March 2015

Offence 2) Speeding - 30 October 2016

Complaint 1 ) Reckless driving - 24 October 2017

Complaint 2) Reckless driving/ poor attitude - 4 November 2017

Complaint 3) Poor attitude - 22 February 2018

Complaint 4) Poor attitude - 23 February 2018

Complaint 5) Reckless driving/ poor attitude - 8 March 2018

Complaint 6) Poor attitude - 16 March 2018

Complaint 7) Reckless driving - 15 April 2018

Complaint 8) Reckless driving - 21 April 2018

Complaint 9) Poor attitude - 23 April 2018

 

At the meeting of 11 June 2018 the Committee decided to suspend the driver’s Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence for four weeks and required him to complete a driver improvement scheme.

 

The Committee heard that the driver had completed the driver improvement scheme satisfactorily in October 2018.

 

The driver appeared before Members due to four further complaints being made which were listed at 10) to 13) in the report:

Complaint 10) related to reckless driving on the 2 September 2018 in the Coulby Newham area of Middlesbrough. The driver was subsequently interviewed by a Licensing Enforcement Officer on 7 September 2018. After the interview a letter was sent reminding the driver about expected driving standards and advising that no further action would be taken in that instance. The letter also advised the driver that should further complaints be made it may have been necessary to review his suitability to hold a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence.

 

Complaint 11) related to reckless driving in the Hemlington area of Middlesbrough. The driver was subsequently interviewed by a Licensing Enforcement Officer on 18 October 2018 at which the driver denied the allegations made in the complaint.

 

Complaint 12) related to an incident on 30 October 2018 in which the driver’s Private Hire Vehicle was seen driving recklessly on the M62 toward Huddersfield. The driver was subsequently interviewed by a Licensing Enforcement Officer on 1 November 2018 where the driver stated he was not driving the vehicle at the time of the incident as it was being repaired by a friend in Manchester. While this was subsequently proven to be the case the driver was, nevertheless, sent a warning letter on 15 November stating that only licensed private hire drivers were authorised to drive Private Hire Vehicles

 

Complaint 13) related to an incident at Sandringham House on 5 December 2018 during which a staff member at Sandringham House complained the driver had collided with her vehicle but then refused to exchange insurance details with her. The driver was subsequently interviewed by a Licensing Enforcement Officer on 12 December 2018 in which the driver denied colliding with the complainant's car.

 

At this point in the meeting witnesses for complaint 11) entered the meeting and were invited to provide their version of events. The witnesses also responded to questions from Members, the Council’s Legal Representative and the Principal Licensing Officer. The driver had no questions for the witnesses.

 

At this point in the meeting witnesses for complaint 11) withdrew from the meeting.

 

At this point in the meeting witnesses for complaint 13) entered the meeting and were invited to provide their version of events. The witnesses also responded to questions from Members, the Council’s Legal Representative and the Principal Licensing Officer. The driver had no questions for the witnesses.

 

At this point in the meeting witnesses for complaint 13) withdrew from the meeting.

 

The driver was invited to present his case and proceeded to address the Committee providing his version of events. He also responded to questions from Members, the Council's Legal Representative and the Principal Licensing Officer.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver, along with officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council's Legal and Democratic Services, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the review.

At this stage in the meeting the driver and the Principal Licensing Officer returned to the meeting.

ORDERED: Under Section 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 ("the Act") the Licensing Committee may revoke the licence of a driver of a private hire vehicle on the ground of any other reasonable cause. Under Section 61(2B) of the Act if the Committee considers it is in the interests of public safety it may require the revocation of the licence to have immediate effect.

 

The Licensing Committee considered the review on its merits, it considered the report, information and representations made to the Committee. It considered the legislation and Middlesbrough Council Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy 2018 ("the Policy").

 

The Licensing Committee decided to revoke the driver’s private hire vehicle driver’s licence on the grounds of any other reasonable cause. The revocation was to have immediate effect in the interests of public safety.

The reasons for the decision were as follows:-

 

  1. The Committee noted on the 11 June 2018 the Licensing Committee suspended the driver’s Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licence for a period of 4 weeks and required him to attend the Driver Improvement Scheme because he had received nine complaints about his unsafe driving or unacceptable behaviour. It noted that since the suspension the driver had received four further complaints of unsafe driving and / or unacceptable behaviour.
  2. The Committee noted the driver’s representations, in summary; that he had not driven in an unsafe manner; for two incidents he was not the driver of the vehicle alleged to have been driven unsafely; he was not aggressive and upheld the code of conduct; and that since the suspension he ensured to have drive safely and ensure he did not get into altercations with other road users. It noted the driver provided a witness statement from his passenger to support him in relation to the incident on the 9 October 2018 and he claimed it was the other drivers who either had issues with their driving or were aggressive.
  3. The Committee did not uphold two of the five incidents alleged. The first being on the 3 September 2018 at 3.40pm in the area of Newport Roundabout. Booking records showed that the driver was out of the area at that time. The second being the complaint about the driver’s Private Hire Vehicle being driven in a dangerous manner on the M62 near Huddersfield on the 30 October 2018. The Committee noted that the driver was driving his mini bus at the time on a private hire booking to Leeds Bradford Airport.
  4. The Committee did find, on balance, the driver had driven unsafely on the 2nd September 2018 and the 9 October 2018 and was aggressive or insulting to other road users on the 9 October 2018 and the 5 December 2018. This was despite previously being suspended for unsafe driving and / or aggressive behaviour.
  5. For each incident on the 2 September, 9 October and 5 December 2018 the complainants were different unrelated people who were so concerned about the driver’s driving and / or behaviour felt it necessary to complain to the Council.
  6. In relation to the incident on the 2 September 2018, the Committee considered the Complainant gave a detailed description of the driver’s unsafe driving which occurred at approximately 11.15 in Coulby Newham. The Committee noted the driver confirmed he was driving the vehicle at the time. Although the Complainant was mistaken about the incident on the 3 September (made later), the Committee considered there was no reason for the Complainant who did not know the driver, to fabricate such a detailed complaint to the Council.
  7. In relation to the incident on the 9 October 2018, both witnesses attended the Committee and were clear the driver drove at speed up behind them, drove too close to the rear of their vehicle, overtook them on a road hump and swerved in front to take a sharp right turn without indicating. Both witnesses clearly felt that the driver made insulting gestures to them when he passed in his vehicle. The witnesses did not know the driver and the Committee considered there was no ulterior reason for the witnesses to take the time to complain and attend committee in order to lie. The driver’s witness did not attend, he stated he did not know his witness, however, in her statement, she said she had bookings with the driver on previous occasions.
  8. In relation to the incident on the 30 October 2018, although the driver was not found to be driving his Private Hire Vehicle dangerously on the M62 on the 30 October 2018, the Committee considered the driver was vague with the intention of misleading licensing officers as to what the vehicle was doing in that area, whether the person driving was licensed and the name of the driver.
  9. In relation to the incident on the 5 December 2018, the Committee believed the witness; that the driver had reversed into her vehicle which resulted in some form of collision, even though no damage had occurred. The Committee believed the witness that the driver had insulted her by shouting "what's your problem" and "have you a midget problem". Although the driver denied the words "midget problem" he admitted he did state something in relation to "small person’s syndrome" and did not feel this was insulting. The Committee considered it was an unusual saying and accepted the witness’s version. It was accepted the witness was upset and did swear at the driver at the beginning of the altercation, however, the driver was acting as a private hire driver and his behaviour was unacceptable. The second witness confirmed that the driver appeared to be agitated and had a raised voice whilst the other driver was calm.
  10. The driver received his licence on the 13 July 2017 and was given the opportunity to be a Private Hire Vehicle driver despite having two convictions in 2015 and 2016 for speeding and having six points on his licence.
  11. During the life of the driver's licence, being only approximately 18 months, he had received 13 complaints about either his unsafe driving, aggressive behaviour or inappropriate attitude
  12. The driver's licence was previously suspended instead of revoked to deter him from taking risks whilst driving; to deter the driver from reacting aggressively to situations and to improve the driver’s attitude, yet he continued to receive complaints.
  13. The driving complaints followed a pattern, namely speeding, driving too close behind vehicles, unsafely overtaking, then braking in front of vehicles and weaving in and out of traffic.
  14. The attitude complaints followed a pattern in that the driver confronted with insults or aggression other drivers who objected to his driving standards.
  15. The incidents took place when the driver was acting as a private hire driver.
  16. The driver continuously blamed anyone who complained about him that they were driving unsafely or they were the ones being aggressive.
  17. The driver continued to persistently drive unsafely, take risks, act aggressively or insult members of the public despite interventions by way of interviews, warnings, a suspension of his licence and the driver improvement scheme.
  18. The Committee considered the driver’s aggressive behaviour to be wholly unsuitable for a driver licensed in Middlesbrough. It found that the driver consistently breached his code of conduct which required him to drive with care and due consideration for other road users and pedestrians and to behave in a civil and orderly manner at all times.
  19. The Committee, in accordance with the Policy, took driving issues very seriously as driving was the vocation of a licensee. It must protect passengers and other road users. The Committee considered the driver to have persistently put the public at risk. The Committee therefore considered it appropriate that the driver’s licence be revoked with immediate effect in the interests of public safety.
  20. After considering all of the information, the Committee was not be satisfied that the driver was a safe and suitable person to continue to be licensed as a private hire vehicle driver in Middlesbrough.
  21. The driver was advised that if he was aggrieved by the Committee’s decision he had 21 days in which to appeal the decision to Teesside Magistrates Court. Should the driver decide to appeal the decision and the appeal was dismissed, the Council would look to the Court for an Order to recover its costs incurred in defending its decision from the driver.

 

**At this point in the meeting Councillor Jeanette Walker returned to the meeting and was in the Chair.
 

18/57 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCE - REF NO: 44/18

The Director of Culture and Communities submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 44/18, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed and confirmed that the any inaccuracies contained within the report should have been reported to the Licensing department prior to the meeting.

The driver, who was in attendance at the meeting, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report and understood its contents.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer summarised the report and advised Members that the driver was due to appear before Members on 10 December 2018 but did not attend. Members were asked to consider previous complaints recorded against the driver, along with the motoring convictions recorded against him, as set out in the report:-

 

Offence 1) Using a vehicle with defective tyres on - 23 October 2015
Offence 2) Failure to wear Private Hire Driver’s badge on - 13 February 2016
Offence 3) Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road - 23 February 2017
Offence 4) Failure to give information as to identity of driver on - 12 September 2017

Warning 1) Parked a Private Hire Vehicle on a Hackney Carriage stand - 13 November 2013
Warning 2) Failure to report motoring conviction within 7 days of conviction
Warning 3) Failure to report motoring conviction within 7 days of conviction

 

The driver appeared before Members as a result of a complaint made against him, listed in the report, on 25 July 2018:-

 

Complaint 1) Positive drug test explanation. The Principal Licensing Officer summarised that, following a conversation with passengers on the 25 July 2018, it was alleged the driver admitted to taking drugs.

 

The driver was subsequently interviewed by a Licensing Enforcement Officer on 26 July 2018 during which the driver denied the allegation. Licensing Enforcement Officers carried out a drugs screening test, after receiving consent from the driver, at 14:32 on 26 July 2018. The results of the test showed the driver had Cannabis and Cocaine in his bloodstream. The driver’s Private Hire Driver’s License was suspended with immediate effect pending further tests and consideration by the Committee.

 

The driver was invited to present his case and proceeded to address the Committee providing his version of events. He also responded to questions from Members, the Council's Legal Representative and the Principle Licensing Officer.

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver, along with officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council's Legal and Democratic Services, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.

At this stage in the meeting the driver and the Principal Licensing Officer returned to the meeting.

 

ORDERED: Under Section 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 ("the Act") the Licensing Committee may revoke the licence of a driver of a private hire vehicle on the ground of any other reasonable cause. Under Section 61(2B) of the Act if the Committee considers it is in the interests of public safety it may require the revocation of the licence to have immediate effect.


The Licensing Committee considered the driver’s review on its merits, it considered the report, information and representations made to the Committee. It considered the legislation and Middlesbrough Council Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy 2018 ("the Policy").


The Licensing Committee decided to revoke the driver’s Private Hire Vehicle driver’s licence on the grounds of any other reasonable cause. The revocation was to have immediate effect in the interests of public safety.
The reasons for the decision were as follows:

 

  1. The Committee noted that the driver had one offence of failing to wear a badge and 4 motoring offences which lead to him being disqualified on the 15 November 2018. The Committee noted on the 26 July a drugs test revealed the driver had cocaine and cannabis in his system which was not medicinal.
  2. The Committee noted the driver’s representations, in summary; that the driver apologised for the traffic offences; that the driver claimed he did not get the letters for two offences and apologised for not reporting offences to Licensing Officers. The Committee noted the driver’s representations that the drug taking was a one off during Eid celebrations; the driver had not done it again; the driver felt he was in control when he drove his private hire vehicle and was very remorseful.
  3. It was noted that the driver was appealing the conviction on the 23 October 2018 which led to his disqualification on the 15 November 2018. However, the disqualification remained in place to date.
  4. After considering the information on the whole the Council could not be satisfied the driver was a fit and proper person to be licensed to drive private hire vehicles in Middlesbrough.
  5. Since 2015 over a period of approximately 3 years, the driver had been convicted of four traffic offences; one defective tyre in 2015; speeding in 2017; failing to give information (following speeding) in May 2018 and a further offence of failing to give information (again following speeding) on the 23 October 2018. The driver was currently disqualified as he had in excess of 12 points on his licence.
  6. The Council could not accept the driver’s mitigation for the offence in May 2018 that he had not received the letters as the matter was not reopened and the Committee was unable to go behind that conviction.
  7. The Committee was also concerned that a Complaint had been received that the driver had been texting and phoning during a private hire journey on the 20 July 2018.
  8. The Committee considered the driver had a history of driving unsafely and/or failing to provide information to the police in relation to unsafe driving.
  9. The Committee took such a history very seriously because driving safely was the vocation of a licensed driver.
  10. Notwithstanding the serious issues in relation to the driver’s driving and motoring convictions, the Committee was seriously concerned that he had taken illicit drugs.
  11. The Committee noted the driver informed passengers during a private hire journey on 20 July 2018 that he took drugs. Although the driver denied the allegation, the Committee considered the passenger was so concerned he felt it necessary to complain to the Council. The committee considered there was no reason for the passenger who was unknown to the driver to make up the allegation.
  12. Then, on the 26 July 2018, a saliva drugs test showed the driver had Cannabis and Cocaine in his bloodstream. At that point the driver explained to the Licensing Officer he used cannabis now and again and had taken it two days before the test. The driver also explained that he had taken Cocaine as a one- off weeks earlier during Eid celebrations.
  13. After making enquiries, Licensing Officers determined that the driver had been driving his Private Hire Vehicle carrying out private hire bookings whilst Cocaine and Cannabis was in his system.
  14. On the 6 August 2018, a Final Certificate of Analysis test confirmed the driver had tested positive for both Cannabis and Cocaine which was not consistent with medicinal use. It was only at a later interview on the 1 October 2018, and then before the Committee, that the driver changed his story. The driver denied taking Cannabis now and again as previously stated and claimed both the Cannabis and Cocaine were taken as a one-off during Eid. 
  15. The driver also had a history of misleading Licensing Officers. The driver failed to report the defective tyre conviction on the 23 October 2015 in accordance with his conditions and received a warning. Despite receiving a warning the driver failed to report his speeding offence on the 13 September 2017 and received a further warning. The driver again failed to declare the conviction on the 1 May 2018 for failure to give information to the police. Despite numerous queries from Licensing Officers the driver continued to inform officers that he had not been disqualified or omitted this fact. The Committee did not believe the driver simply thought he was not disqualified because he had later appealed the conviction. The driver was clearly disqualified at court in November 2018.
  16. In relation to the motoring offences, the Policy stated that where a person had been disqualified his / her licence would normally be revoked.
  17. In relation to drugs, the Policy stated the driver’s licence should be revoked.
  18. In relation to misleading the Council, the Policy stated the driver’s licence should be revoked.
  19. The Committee found no good reason to depart from the Policy.
  20. In view of the serious concerns regarding the driver’s unsafe driving, using drugs, undertaking private hire bookings with Cannabis and Cocaine present in your system, failing to provide information to the police and misleading Council Officers, the Committee decided the driver was a serious risk to passengers and the travelling public. Therefore in the interests of public safety the driver’s licence was revoked with immediate effect
  21. The driver was advised that if he was aggrieved by the Committee’s decision he had 21 days in which to appeal the decision to Teesside Magistrates Court. Should the driver decide to appeal the decision and the appeal was dismissed, the Council would look to the Court for an Order to recover its costs incurred in defending its decision from the driver.



 

18/58 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF NO: 1/19

The Director of Culture and Communities submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 1/19, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed and confirmed that the any inaccuracies contained within the report should have been reported to the Licensing department prior to the meeting.

The driver, who was in attendance at the meeting, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report and understood its contents.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer summarised the report and advised the Committee that the driver previously appeared before Members on 9 July 2018 when Members had consideration of the driver's Application for a Private Hire Vehicle driver's licence. The Committee granted the application after considering the offences listed in the report:-

 

Offence 1) Indecent Assault on a female under 16 - 17 May 1990

Offence 2) Common Assault - 27 February 2013

 

The driver appeared before Members following an incident with a lone female passenger on 18 November 2018 when it was alleged the driver made inappropriate and threatening remarks towards the female. The details of the incident were provided in the report.

 

The driver was subsequently interviewed by a Licensing Enforcement Officer on the 21 November 2018 in which the driver did not accept all of the allegations made against him. Licensing Enforcement Officers decided to suspend the driver's Private Hire Vehicle driver's licence until further enquiries could be made and the Committee could consider the matter.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer drew the Committee's attention to section 61 of the Local Government Act 1976 and to sections 369 to 371 of the Council's Licensing Policy, regarding character and conduct.

 

The driver was invited to present his case and proceeded to address the Committee providing his version of events. He also responded to questions from Members, the Council's Legal Representative and the Principal Licensing Officer.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver, along with officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council's Legal and Democratic Services, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the review.

 

At this stage in the meeting the driver and the Principal Licensing Officer returned to the meeting.

 

ORDERED: Under Section 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 ("the Act") the Licensing Committee may revoke the licence of a driver of a private hire vehicle on the ground of any other reasonable cause. Under Section 61(2B) of the Act if the Committee considers it is in the interests of public safety it may require the revocation of the licence to have immediate effect.

 

The Licensing Committee considered the driver’s review on its merits, it considered the report, information and representations made to the Committee. It considered the legislation and Middlesbrough Council Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy 2018 ("the Policy").

 

The Licensing Committee decided to revoke the driver’s Private Hire Vehicle driver’s licence on the grounds of any other reasonable cause. The revocation was to have immediate effect in the interests of public safety.

The reasons for the decision were as follows:

 

1. The Committee noted the driver had been convicted of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 on the 17 May 1990. In view that there were no subsequent incidents the driver was given the opportunity to be a licensed Private Hire Vehicle driver on the 3 November 2003.

2. The driver was then convicted of Assault on the 27 February 2013 and his Private Hire Vehicle driver’s licence was revoked on the 28 May 2013. The assault occurred when the driver was driving a mini bus and involved two women.

3. The driver was given a further opportunity to be a licensed driver on the 9 July 2018.

4. On the 18 November 2018 the Council received a complaint from a female passenger, travelling alone, that the driver made comments about kidnapping her and other threatening behaviours.

5. The Committee noted the driver's representations, in summary; that the driver did not indecently assault the girl in 1990 and he denied the assault in 2013. The driver admitted that he did make some of the comments, namely stating the price was £70, being a womaniser and kidnapping the passenger. The driver stated he did not know why he said anything about kidnapping the passenger, however he stated his comments were meant as a joke and to "wind the passenger up". The driver did not consider the passenger was upset and he went to the drop off address later and apologised to the passenger’s step father after being told to do so by his operator.

6. The Complainant stated during a journey at night time on the 18 November 2018 the driver:

 

 - Used foul language about his operator "the little fucking bitch".

 - Told the passenger he was a womaniser.

 - Told the passenger the price of a local journey would be £70, then £300.

 - Proceeded to ask whether anyone would pay ransom money if he kidnapped her.

 - Further into the journey he told the passenger - taxis have tracking and if he turned the tracking off at that location no one would know where to find her.

 

7. The Complainant stated she was terrified and felt she would not get into a taxi again. The Complainant said she was too frightened to attend the Committee.

8. The Committee considered that the Complainant’s version was her honest overall view of the journey.

9. The driver continued to deny the conviction of indecent assault of a girl under the age of 16 on the 17 May 1990, but the Committee cannot and would not go behind this conviction. The driver accepted by pleading guilty that he indecently assaulted a minor.

10. The Committee noted the driver denied the assault in 2013 which involved two women whilst he was driving his mini bus. The court assessed all of the evidence and found the driver guilty. The Committee cannot and would not go behind that conviction.

11. The Committee was concerned the driver continued to fail to accept responsibility for his actions.

12. Despite being given a further chance of being a licensed driver on the 9 July 2018 within a short period of time the driver’s wholly unacceptable actions left a passenger terrified. The driver had a history of assault on females.

13. The Committee considered the driver was wholly unsuitable and unsafe to be in such a position of trust as that of a licensed driver whose role was to transport lone females or vulnerable passengers.

14. The Policy stated that a person who had a conviction of an indecency offence should not be licensed as a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Vehicle driver.

15. The Policy stated that the paramount consideration for the Committee was public safety.

16. The Committee considered that there was no good reason to depart from the policy.

17. The Committee considered that the driver was a risk to vulnerable passengers and in the interests of public safety the revocation of his licence would have immediate effect.

18. The driver was advised that if he was aggrieved by the Committee’s decision he had 21 days in which to appeal the decision to Teesside Magistrates Court. Should the driver decide to appeal the decision and the appeal was dismissed, the Council would look to the Court for an Order to recover its costs incurred in defending its decision from the driver.
 


 

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