Swadlincote minicab firm fined for unlicensed driver

A boss at a South Derbyshire minicab firm has been ordered to pay more than £1,300 for operating a private hire vehicle with an unlicensed driver.

The vehicle, which was stopped in Ashby on June 5 last year as part of an enforcement operation being conducted by North West Leicestershire District Council, was being driven by Khawar Sadaf Khan, working for Swad Cars, based on the Sharpe’s Industrial Estate off Alexandra Road, Swadlincote.

When Khan was unable to produce his licence, the case was reported to South Derbyshire District Council as the licensing authority, which established that Khan was not registered as a private hire driver in South Derbyshire.

The vehicle was, however, licensed to Mohammed Afzal, one of the operators of Swad Cars.

When interviewed under caution, Afzal admitted that Swad Cars had allowed Khan to drive the private hire vehicle and given him work without requiring him to produce his licence.

Appearing at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, Afzal, of Branston Road, Burton, admitted knowingly operating a private hire vehicle within a controlled district with an unlicensed driver.

The 31-year-old was fined £350 and was told to pay a victim surcharge of £35, as well as costs of £1,000.

At an earlier hearing Khan, 30, of Sunnyhill Avenue, Derby, pleaded guilty by post to driving a private hire vehicle without having a current private hire licence and, in his absence, Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court fined him £300, as well as ordering him to pay £250 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

A South Derbyshire District Council spokesman said: “Making sure that private hire vehicles are properly licensed is part of our commitment to upholding safety standards in South Derbyshire.

“Private hire firm operators have a duty of care to their customers and must work with us to ensure they are meeting this requirement.”

More information about private hire licensing in South Derbyshire is available online at www.south-derbys.gov.uk/environment/licences

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