COUNCIL APPEAL AGAINST ACCRINGTON TAXI DRIVER DECISION UPHELD BY CROWN COURT

A taxi driver whose licence was revoked for inappropriate conduct has had his court appeal against the Council’s Judicial Committee decision overturned by Preston Crown Court.

Hyndburn Council’s Judicial Committee last April revoked Shabir Hanif’s licence to drive a private hire vehicle on the grounds that he was no longer a ‘fit and proper’ person to do so.

The Council’s Judicial Committee made the decision to revoke Mr Hanif’s licence after hearing concerns about him failing to allow Council Licencing Officers to carry out an inspection of his private hire vehicle, and for behaving in an aggressive manner towards them and parking his vehicle illegally and hazardously.

Mr Hanif (38) of Hyndburn Street, Accrington, lodged an appeal with Blackburn Magistrates Court against the decision of the Council to revoke his private hire drivers licence. Mr Hanif’s appeal was upheld by Blackburn Magistrates Court even though the magistrates said that they ‘accepted the evidence of the Council’s officers who they considered to have been both professional and patient and who had no reason to fabricate their evidence.’  They considered the evidence given by Mr Hanif to have been ‘contradictory and neither credible nor plausible.’ The Council then appealed that decision to Preston Crown Court on the 14 February 2019 and the Judge allowed the Council’s appeal against the magistrates decision and upheld the original decision of the Councils Judicial Committee.

The Judge confirmed that the Council’s Judicial Committee had made the correct decision and that Mr Hanif was not a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a private hire drivers licence.

Council Leader, Cllr Miles Parkinson, said: ‘The safety of the travelling public is paramount. We take the safety of passengers very seriously and require high standards for all taxi drivers. We will always take action when they fail to meet those standards and breach the conditions of their licences. We are happy with the decision of the Court as it highlights that we will always take action against people who behave in a threatening and abusive manner when dealing with our officers carrying out their lawful duties.’