A private hire driver has had their licence revoked by Cornwall Council after admitting to hitting a child.
The driver, who has not been named in documents published by the council, lost his licence after it was reviewed by the council's licensing committee last month. Details have only just been published in the minutes of the meeting which was held on June 21.
The driver had operated in the Penwith area.
Councillors heard that the child claimed the driver had pinched their hands, grabbed their knee and hit them on the head with a coffee cup. The driver was at the review hearing, spoke in support of retaining his licence and answered questions from councillors.
The minutes state the driver "admitted that he transported a child under a school contract and the driver was not cleared by the council’s passenger transport section to undertake that contract. He further admitted at least one further such incident".
It adds: "The special education needs co-coordinator and the deputy safeguarding lead at the school noted that when the child arrived at school after the journey from home he looked flustered and uncomfortable.
"The child in question alleged that during the journey the driver had pinched/squeezed the child’s hands, grabbed the child’s knee and the back of the child’s neck and hit the child on the head with the driver’s coffee cup. The majority of these incidents took place in front of three other children who were in the car. The driver admitted the incidents but not the detail. Upon questioning he conceded that he should have asked the child to sit in the back seat.
"The social worker noted that the child had a red mark, a lump and what looked like it would turn into a bruise above the right eye, where it was alleged that the child was hit with a coffee cup. The child’s foster carer had confirmed that the child had no marks or bruising to the head or neck that morning previous to the journey to school."
The committee members decided to revoke the driver's licence saying that they did not consider that he was a fit a proper person to hold such a licence.
When making the decision councillors are asked whether they would be happy for "their husbands, wife, son, daughter, granddaughter, person they cared about or vulnerable persons to travel alone in a vehicle". The committee decided that they would not.
The minutes state that the police would be investigating the incident with the child and it was stated that the police were already investigating the driver with regards to another incident.
Drunken brothers knocked out two men who tried to stop a taxi driver being battered - leaving them with broken bones and missing teeth.
Sheekh Hassan was set upon after telling Nikesh McHugh, his brother Jon Wright and sister Dilesha McHugh to get out of his car.
CCTV footage showed Nikesh McHugh chase the driver down Newington in Liverpool city centre , punch him and pull down his trousers.
Sam Higham, his wife Rebecca and friend Liam Moran saw Nikesh McHugh standing over the "terrified" victim and shouted at him to stop.
The clip revealed Wright headed over the road and shoved Mr Moran, who pushed him back, sending him tumbling over a car bonnet.
Nikesh McHugh then ran across the street and repeatedly hit Mr Higham with a flurry of punches, causing him to fall to the ground unconscious .
Mr Higham suffered a fractured skull, with bruising of the brain, and a broken left cheekbone, but fortunately has made a full recovery.
Mr Wright got to his feet and felled Mr Moran with a punch that knocked out five of his teeth and left him unconscious.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the taxi driver suffered abrasions during the incident, at around 2.15am on December 1 last year.
Jamie Baxter, prosecuting, said the siblings got in Mr Hassan's vehicle after he had already received his next job, which led to a "disagreement".
He said there was a "disturbance" inside the car and Nikesh McHugh later claimed Mr Hassan had made an "inappropriate comment" to his sister.
Mr Hassan was followed up and down the street by Nikesh McHugh who threw punches at him, before Mr Higham shouted across the road.
The court heard Wright struggled with police when he was arrested, lashing out at an officer while on the ground, and later spat at police.
Dilesha McHugh, 19, of Moorfields, Crawley, West Sussex, who pushed Mrs Higham over, admitted common assault and received a conditional discharge.
Convicted heroin dealer Nikesh McHugh, 25, of Manorfields, Crawley, West Sussex, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and affray.
He has four previous convictions for six offences and was locked up for six months in 2011 for violent disorder.
Martine Snowdon, defending Nikesh McHugh, said he accepted it was an "appalling piece of violence" and he was shocked by his actions.
She said it was not premeditated and the siblings had been enjoying a "family night out" before something triggered the taxi row.
Ms Snowdon said Nikesh McHugh saw a kick being aimed at his brother when he was on the ground and then assaulted Mr Higham.
Wright, 37, of Townley Street, in Middleton, Greater Manchester, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and affray.
His 29 previous convictions for 50 offences include assaults causing actual bodily harm on two occasions.
He was jailed for 18 months for violent disorder in 2004 and was spared jail in 2018 for domestic-violence related battery.
Keith Jones, defending Wright, said he was kicked by either Mr Higham or Mr Moran while on the ground.
The judge, Recorder Mary Prior, QC, accepted he may have been kicked out at, before he punched Mr Moran.
Mr Jones said asthmatic Wright had his left leg amputated after a car crash and wore a prosthetic leg, which hurt when he fell.
He said his client was also in pain when an arresting officer sprayed him with PAVA spray and put his weight on his prosthetic.
Recorder Prior agreed Wright required a pre-sentence report and adjourned his sentencing until September 17 at Chester Crown Court.
She accepted Nikesh McHugh had not gone looking for trouble, but said: "It doesn't appear there was a great deal that caused you to lose your temper entirely."
The judge said whatever happened in the taxi did not justify assaulting Mr Hassan, who a passer-by said looked "terrified".
Recorder Prior also accepted Nikesh McHugh would have been concerned when he saw his brother fall over.
However, she said: "Your reaction was not go go help him or your sister, your reaction was to go and exact revenge."
Jailing him for 32 months, the judge said he instead attacked Mr Higham "beating him hard and repeatedly".
She added: "It's fortunate for him you did not cause any more serious injury. This could have been a fatal injury."
Parked at the end of a long queue of taxis that spill over into the adjacent lane near St Stephen’s Green, taxi driver Adidemi Lugboso (51) says there is one glaring problem he faces as a cab driver in the city.
“There’s too many taxis,” he says. “There’s as many taxis here as New York.”
Several taxi drivers who spoke to The Irish Times said the number of cabs on the street can be overwhelming and oversight was not enough to regulate unlicensed drivers.
“Nobody’s listening,” says David Heavey (57), waiting for a fare outside Dublin Castle. “If you report someone you never hear back.”
“It just goes flying around in the cloud,” agreed Sean (53), who declined to give his last name. “Nobody ever acts on it. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”
Waiting in line outside the Westbury Hotel on Grafton Street, he says he couldn’t remember the last time the enforcement team came to him to check on his details.
He maintains that customers focus too much on Friday and Saturday night when taxis are in high demand, but don’t care about the rest of the time when the streets are flooded with cabs.
“Where are you on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, you know?” he says.
The DriverCheck app allows users to enter the number located on the side of the taxi and compare the photo and name to the person driving the car. If no information comes up, the driver is probably not licensed. The problem, according to the drivers, is there is little enforcement.
Pulling on a cigarette next to his taxi parked in the line along the quays, Seán Nolan (44) agrees with the claim of a lack of oversight and response to illegal taxi drivers.
“We can’t complain,” he says. “If we find a taxi on the rank that is illegitimate, or not on the driver check, we can’t report them. It has to be a customer [who reports them]. What use is that because not all customers will check the system to see if that driver is legit.”
Nolan, like many other drivers, does not see the introduction of Uber as contributing to their problems. Unlike in many other countries, Uber drivers in Ireland must be licensed in the same way as taxi drivers.
“That’s about the one good oversight that government does have on a taxi,” says Nolan. “That Uber can’t come into the country and just send anybody. I had to be vetted. Every man here had to be vetted. Uber can’t vet the way our police force can vet.”
A TRIBUTE will be paid today in memory of a taxi driver who passed away of bowel cancer earlier this month.
Local taxi driver Lance Bradley, 62, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August last year, and died on July 4.
Around 15 of his colleagues from Southampton White Taxi Excursions and Southampton Hackney Carriage are meeting at Dock Gate 4 of Ocean Terminal today, to commemorate the car park space that Lance used during his 30 years of taxi service, before driving to his funeral at Southampton Crematorium.
Black ribbons will be tied around each taxi vehicle in respect of Lance's memory, who would have been 63 years old on July 9.
Lance was a father to two sons and owned Southampton White Taxi Excursions, which he has shared with his business partner David Beszant for the last 3 years.
David, who is also a taxi driver, said: "Lance Bradley was not only my business partner at Southampton White Taxi Excursions, but he was also a true friend and gentleman.
"He was a great character to be around, and generous to a fault. It’s a strange feeling knowing Lance is no longer with us, but he can rest in piece, safe in the knowledge that we will carry on the good work in his memory."
He added: "Lance above all else was a wonderful family man and a doting Dad to his two sons Drew and Brandon, who miss their Dad so much but are both staying strong in honour of Lance, as he was both their role model and best friend."
Lance was looked after at Countess Mountbatten House hospice during his battle with cancer.
His family said: "Lance’s two sons Drew and Brandon Bradley, although obviously devastated at the loss of their father, are drawing comfort from the positive impact he made on so many people that he encountered throughout the many areas of his life.
"Lance was first and foremost a loving family man. He was honest and open, hardworking and accountable and understanding and respectful of himself and others; these characteristics were sustained throughout his life and are firmly installed in both of his sons.
They added: "Although a Black Belt Jujitsu second Dan, he didn’t ever use his skills in a negative way, in fact he opened a Jujitsu club and ran this for many years teaching children and adults to protect themselves in a challenging situation.
"Lance will be remembered as a gentle giant, a good Samaritan, an advocate for his country when showing visitors from around the world the various national landmarks and heritage sites that he was so very proud to share.
"In order to honour their father’s memory and show appreciation for the outstanding level of care and sensitivity shown by all at Countesses Mountbatten House, Drew and Brandon have requested that no flowers are sent but donations can be made via R C PAYNE, Bitterne.
"Lance’s sons wish to present a contribution to enable Countess Mountbatten House to maintain the standard of support and dignity they showed to Lance - benefitting current and future patients and their loved ones."
Aiden Ibbotson, 23, said his partner Dana Harrison, 23, was told she had to pay £50 for causing a mess in the car by the driver - as he dropped her at the door of St James's Hospital in Leeds on the way to give birth.
Dana had desperately called for a RoadRunners taxi from her home in Seacroft to the hospital as her contractions started, eleven days earlier than her baby was due.
However, Aiden - who was fishing with friends at the time - said Dana was taken on a longer route to hospital and her waters had broken on the way.
When the taxi finally arrived at the hospital, Dana was reportedly told "are you going to clean the car?" by the driver - who has not been identified - as she was rushed into the hospital.
Aiden said midwives had been left shocked by the reaction of the driver - who allegedly told Dana she had to pay a £50 fine for the journey.
He said: "She ended up giving him £30 on top of the fare, which was more than usual because he had gone the long way anyway.
"I couldn't believe it when she told me."
Aiden rushed from his fishing trip to be by the side of his partner as soon as possible.
He said the midwives couldn't believe the attitude of the driver.
Aiden added: "Apparently the driver said he was going to wait outside the hospital for someone to bring wipes out to clean the car.
"The midwives were clearly shocked by his actions.
"She had started to give birth in his car and the baby's head had started to come out.
"Dana near enough had the baby in her hands.
"What could she do?"
Thankfully, Dana gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Blake in the hospital a short time later.
Aiden added: "I have tried to call the company but they have said I can only accept their apologies and they won't tell me who the driver was.
"I asked for his badge number which would've been in his car but they would not give it to me.
"I am so angry."
Roadrunners was approached for comment.