A taxi driver who undertook 208 journeys whilst his licence was suspended has been fined £1,450 and faces a ban from driving.
Intikhab Alam (47) Sheffield has held a private hire vehicle drivers licence with North East Derbyshire District Council since February 2016 and in line with Council policy at the 18-month (half way) point of the licence he was required to submit information enabling a check of his DVLA driving licence to take place.
Three reminders were sent by post last summer, but Alam failed to respond, so the Council suspended his PHV driver's licence on 15 August until 29 August 2017 at which time the DVLA licence check had been undertaken.
It was then alleged that Alam had carried on working as a taxi driver despite being suspended. Council officials obtained his Operator's records and they confirmed that he undertook 208 journeys whilst suspended, all of which were therefore unlicensed.
When interviewed Mr Alam admitted undertaking the journeys and that his insurance would have been invalid because his licence was suspended.
Eight sample offences from the 208 journeys undertaken were issued for prosecution at Northern Derbyshire Magistrates Court in Chesterfield - four counts of driving a private hire vehicle without a licence and four of driving with no insurance.
In sentencing the Magistrates noted that he had undertaken the journeys knowingly, despite his licence suspension and for payment. Taking into account his guilty pleas he was sentenced to fines totalling £1,000, plus legal costs of £350 and a victims’ fund surcharge of £100 (total payable £1450). He was also issued with eight penalty points for each of the four insurance offences, leaving him facing disqualification from driving as a result.
Having heard an application for leniency based on exceptional hardship the Magistrates decided the offences merited a driving ban of six-weeks.
Councillor Graham Baxter MBE, North East Derbyshire District Council Leader said, “This is a case of blatant disregard for the law. To carry on driving, especially when you are responsible for other people is an absolute disgrace and we are delighted with both the level of the fine and the disqualification from driving. Let this be a warning to others that unless you adhere to the procedures in place, we will use the full weight of the law against you."