Whitby taxi driver's license suspended after sting operation
A taxi driver has had his license suspended after being caught in a sting operation.
Ashley John Edwards, of Whitby, was given the punishment by Scarborough Council’s licensing sub-committee for failing to inform them that he had been to court.
Redcar and Cleveland Council prosecuted Mr Edwards in May after he picked up two council employees in a minibus in Guisborough.
Mr Edwards did not have a license to take fares that had not been pre-booked and, after a short distance, the employees revealed themselves. The offence also meant he did not have the correct insurance to carry the passengers.
At court, he was given six penalty points and a fine.
However, as he did not inform Scarborough Council of the conviction he has landed himself in hot water.
Earlier this month, Mr Edwards told the committee that he had not been aware of the first court case as the summons had been sent to an old address.
He said that following a second hearing, at which he admitted his guilt and got a reduced fine, he was told by Redcar and Cleveland Council that “they would inform Scarborough”.
Mr Edwards said it had not been his intention to deceive the council and that he relied on his job to support his family.
Speaking about the night in question he said: “It was pouring down and these two lasses approached me and they were quite distressed.
“They said they had to get back to Whitby and it was raining so me being me I told them to get in.
“That’s just the person I am, I wasn’t thinking about money or anything I just wanted to help them.”
The councillors accepted he had not intended to deceive the authority but, in a written judgement released today, warned Mr Edwards he was on his last chance.
The judgement states: “The Licensing Sub-Committee are of the view this is an isolated offence and the driver has only had a licence for a short period prior to committing the offence.
“He recognises his serious error of misjudgement on the spur of the moment and has showed remorse.”
It concluded: “The licence holder was warned in no uncertain terms that if they were brought back before the sub-committee again then it is highly likely that the licence will be revoked.”
The licence was suspended for three months.
The councillors also accepted Mr Edwards’ reasons for not disclosing a speeding fine from 2016, which he said had been a simple ‘oversight’.
The committee members said the three points for speeding would not have stopped him from being granted a private hire licence.