Minicab company owner to have licence reviewed after driver caused motorcyclist’s death

The owner of a Minicab company that failed to act upon a complaint against a dangerous driver who killed a motorcyclist is to have his licence reviewed, an inquest has heard.

Hayley Barsby, deputy chief executive of Mansfield District Council, told coroner Mairin Casey that the authority will review Dennis Lamb’s operator’s licence within 28 days as a result of evidence heard in the inquest into Mark Buckley’s death.

The 34-year-old was killed in the early hours of March 30, 2014, when Minicab driver Kevin Wiesztort collided with him on the A611 Derby Road at 5.30am

Wiesztort admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed last year for 45 months.

On Monday, the inquest heard that a dispatcher at Mr Lamb’s company Aaeron Cars, in Mansfield, received a complaint about Wiesztort’s driving and reported the issue to his wife Edna Lamb.

Mrs Lamb failed to act upon the complaint and just hours later Wiesztort hit Mr Buckley’s motorcycle.

The inquest heard that the company had no formal complaints procedure at the time of the accident but Mr Lamb said that he has since introduced a complaints sheet where employees can document them formally.

The hearing heard that Mr Lamb is subject to a “strict 12 month warning” until February next year to assess his fitness to hold an operator’s licence.

Miss Casey told the inquest that, following his evidence, Mr Lamb “concedes” that he failed to implement a complaints procedure or train staff in how to deal with them.

As a result, Mrs Barsby said she was concerned that Mr Lamb had been unable to adhere to the requirements of his notice.

She said: “Mr Lamb was to implement a complaints procedure and he was to train staff.

“I think it’s very clear on the evidence that Mr Lamb gave yesterday that that has not been put in place.”

Mrs Barsby told the court that the review of Mr Lamb’s operator’s licence would be a priority.

She said: “We will be requesting him to attend a panel hearing in order to satisfy that he is fit and proper to hold that licence.”
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Police family liaison officer Helen Neaverson told the inquest that efforts could have been made to stop Wiesztort from driving if a complaint had been made to the police that day.

She said: “There’s a chance that we would have been able to find the vehicle – it wasn’t a particularly busy time of day – we would have known the route back to Mansfield and we would have been able to, potentially, put vehicles out looking for the Minicab driver.”

Samantha Yates, licensing team leader at Mansfield District Council, told the inquest that a letter was sent to Mr Lamb following a hearing with the authority in February, requiring him to implement a complaints procedure.

She said the council believed that Mr Lamb had fulfilled the requirement, however he admitted that that was not the case during the inquest proceedings.

Miss Yates said future checks will have to go further to find out “is this a reality or a piece of paper”.

Mr Buckley’s partner Rachael Price was also able to the witness.

During her questioning, she stated that Wiesztort continued to work for Aaeron Cars after the accident.

Coroner Miss Casey interjected and asked Miss Yates when Mr Lamb reported the incident to the council.

Referring to a report, Miss Yates said that he notified the council that one of his cars had been involved in an accident on April 1, 2014.

Miss Casey said that Mr Lamb had given a “partial account” and had left out crucial information relating to Mr Buckley’s death.

As a result, the council only investigated whether or not the vehicle involved in the accident was fit to be on the road.

The coroner asked Miss Yates what action would be taken if the council received a similar call now.

She said that a full investigation, including questions relating to any people involved in the accident, would be carried out.
The inquest continues.