|Taxi driver prosecuted for failing to renew licence
A taxi driver who carried on working after his licence expired has been prosecuted.
John Leslie Pack of Millers Lane in Platt Bridge in Wigan pleaded guilty at Wigan Magistrates Court on 17th May 2012 to driving a private hire vehicle without holding a current licence.
Magistrates heard that on 25th January 2012, on the day he was caught, Pack was driving children even though he knew he had failed to renew his taxi badge.
The Defendant explained to the court that he had taken 16 weeks off work recovering from a medical condition, and claimed that he made the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) aware of this.
When asked whether his employers would have been aware of his health issues, he said he didn't know. Pack also explained that he subsequently applied for a licence to Wigan Council in February 2012 and had been refused.
According to Wigan Councilís Licensing Officers, Pack failed to renew his taxi driver's licence last year as he was unable to satisfy the medical requirement, but continued to work after his previous licence expired.
Pack was fined £150 and ordered to pay costs in the sum of £100. A victim surcharge of £15 was also imposed and a fines collection order (total £265). He is to pay these amounts at the rate of £5 per week.
Whilst recognising the serious nature of the offence, the magistrates took into account his early guilty plea, and the fact that the cost of the licence renewal would have been £53, and the CRB check (Criminal Records Bureau) an additional £44. They also took account of the fact that Pack is on benefits and had stated on the means form that his only income is pension credit.
Wigan Council Licensing Manager, Julie Middlehurst says:
"Wigan Council will take enforcement action against offenders. We are keen to reassure the taxi-travelling public that in the interests of their safety and welfare we will not hesitate to take action against people who act in breach of the taxi regulations."
Cllr Paul Prescott, Chair of Wigan Councilís Licensing Committee says:
"The council is committed to ensuring that all hackney carriages, private hire vehicles, operators and drivers are properly licensed and that standards are satisfactorily maintained. This case demonstrates that people who offend against the taxi licensing regime will be dealt with in a robust manner. The overwhelming majority of our private hire vehicles provide excellent service and weíre working with them and the industry to maintain and improve standards."