Taxi driver banned after aggressive behaviour towards female enforcement officer

A taxi driver whose aggressive behaviour left a female licensing enforcement officer feeling intimidated and fearful has had his licence revoked.

The decision to cancel the licence of Danny King, of Birch Road, Balderton, was initially taken by Newark and Sherwood District Council’s general purposes sub-committee after a hearing in which he was accused of obstruction, harassment and intimidation as well as failing to comply with the council’s taxi licensing policy.

The 53-year-old appealed the sub-committee’s conclusion but Nottingham Magistrates’ Court upheld the council’s decision and awarded the council costs of £886.

The incident that led to the licence being revoked occurred in August 2015 when the officer was performing a routine inspection of taxis parked in Lincoln Street, outside Newark North Gate station.

She carried out an inspection and noted that the rear plate identifying the vehicle as a licensed hackney carriage was missing. Mr King declined to hand her his hackney carriage badge and accused the inspector of being racist.

The inspector stated that she then checked the tyres and found the rear tyres to be below the council requirement of 2mm tread depth. She also noted that Mr King’s taxi was not displaying the required No Smoking signs.

Mr King then refused to open the boot so that she could check whether he had a suitable spare tyre, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and a warning triangle.

When the inspector went to leave, Mr King stood in the way of her car door so that she could not initially open it and used his leg to prevent her from closing the door.

In court Mr King denied the allegations against him in their entirety but the magistrates found his evidence inconsistent and they upheld the district council’s decision that Mr King was not a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage and private hire licence.

Alan Batty, business manager for environmental health at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “This case sends an important message to the taxi community that the council is expecting a good standard of conduct from taxi drivers.

“We will not tolerate bad behaviour or harassment of our inspectors as they carry out the job that they are employed to do, safeguarding the public and ensuring that they can trust in local licensed taxi drivers and their vehicles.”

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