Bay councillors decide to revoke cabbie’s licence

A CABBIE has had his Hackney Carriage licence revoked after failing to tell Torbay Council of his driving ban.

Members of the council’s licensing sub-committee heard that Gabor Tardi received 15 points on his licence for a series of driving offences.

These included running a red light, having no insurance, and driving without due care and attention.

Because he passed the 12-point threshold, Mr Tardi lost his driving licence for six months, but neglected to inform the council.

However, it was stressed that there was nothing to suggest Mr Tardi ever drove a vehicle while serving his driving ban.

Cllr Ian Doggett said: “He seems to have a history of motoring offences. Was he aware of all the things he should be doing?”

Craig Noble, Torbay Council’s licensing enforcement officer, responded: “He’s worked for a number of taxi companies.

“All licence applicants are informed of the requirements and they are duty-bound to read through the handbook.”

A council report told committee members that in 2007 Tardi picked up six points and a fine for driving with no insurance. The car was seized and crushed.

Then, in February 2010, he picked up a further three points and a £150 fine for going through a red light.

Steve Cox, licensing officer, said: “The nature of the offences give me cause for concern.

“I think a message needs to be sent out saying we won’t put up with someone who breaks the rules.”

Cllr Peter Addis, committee chairman, asked Mr Tardi: “Why didn’t you inform the authorities?”

Mr Tardi replied: “I didn’t know the law.”

Cllr Addis said: “You should know the law.”

Mr Tardi admitted: “I should have told the licensing officer. It was my mistake.”

After retiring to debate Mr Tardi’s hackney carriage licence, the committee returned to revoke it until April 2011.

Mr Tardi was told that he will not be able to reapply for this licence until January 2012, when a minimum of 12 months will have passed since the end of his driving ban.

Councillors said they revoked the licence because they were not satisfied that Mr Tardi was a fit and proper person to currently hold such a permit.


Cabbie left man dying in street

ACCUSED: Mirza Baig at Worcester Magistrates Court

A WORCESTER taxi driver has escaped a driving ban despite driving off and leaving a passenger fatally injured in the middle of the road.

Mirza Baig was found guilty by magistrates of failing to stop and failing to report an accident after Simon Ordidge climbed out of his taxi as it drove along Northwick Road, Worcester.

The dad-of-two, of St Moritz Close, Northwick, was returning home from a night out with his best friend Jonathan Tracey when he suffered serious head injuries, including a fractured skull, in June last year.

As previously reported in your Worcester News, he died two days later at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, aged 32.

Yesterday Baig was fined £450 and his licence endorsed with nine points – not enough to ban him from driving.

During a two-day trial at Worcester Magistrates Court, Mark Johnson, prosecuting, suggested Baig knew enough about the accident to stop and report it to police, even if he had not realised the seriousness of Mr Ordidge’s injuries.

Speaking through an interpreter, Baig, aged 42, who has been a taxi driver for three years, said: “My speed was very slow and from my experience I thought that if he was injured they would only be minor injuries.”

His defence team argued that Baig had not fully understood the prosecution’s questioning and stressed he was not aware of the moment Mr Ordidge hit his head on the road.

As previously reported, Baig believed Mr Ordidge and Mr Tracey, to be “runners” intent on leaving the taxi without paying the fare.

He claimed he was scared to stop at the scene in case they assaulted him, following an earlier dispute over spilled beer after which the three men agreed to go to Worcester police station in the taxi.

Baig, who had locked the doors and was heading to the police station when Mr Ordidge left the taxi, was alerted to his fall by Mr Tracey banging on the glass partition.

“When Mr Tracey banged on the window and said, ‘Stop, my friend has jumped out’, it is quite clear he was worried by what had gone on,” said Mr Johnson.

“The defendant accepts that one of the young men in the back of the taxi had jumped out when it was moving. He stopped straight away and released the lock.

“At that stage he has a duty to find out what has occurred.

“We have a man who has done a dangerous thing, who is lying on a dark road, at night, in a position where he could be hit by traffic.”

As well as the nine penalty points Baig, of Arrowsmith Avenue, St John’s, Worcester, was fined £450 and ordered to pay £775 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

source: … in_street/

Councillor charged with taxi touting

A SUSPENDED councillor has been charged with illegal taxi touting and driving with no insurance in London.

Balwinder Singh Dhillon was arrested in the City of London on Saturday (Feb 26) in an undercover police crackdown on taxi touts in the Smithfield area on suspicion of picking up illegal fares and was subsequently charged.

Cllr Dhillon said: “I can’t really comment but I am disputing it, so it will all become clear in court.

“I have instructed my solicitor and barrister and this will be defended very vigorously.”

Cllr Dhillon will appear at the City of London Magistrates’ Court on Monday (March 7)


Cabbie’s licence on the line after undeclared ban

TORBAY councillors will consider taking away a cabbie’s livelihood after he failed to inform them that he had been banned from driving.

Gabor Tardi, from Hungary, is alleged to have received 15 points for four offences, including running a red light, having no insurance, and driving without due care and attention.

Torbay Council said the traffic offences earned him a six-month ban but he did not tell the council of his disqualification.

The allegations come after Torbay Council revoked Ryan Ford’s cabbie licence in February because of repeated parking offences.

Members of the council’s licensing sub-committee will debate Mr Tardi’s matter this Thursday at Torquay Town Hall.

A report by Craig Noble, Torbay Council’s licensing enforcement officer, states: “I am now led to believe that Mr Tardi has his DVLA driver’s licence back and has restarted work as a Hackney Carriage driver.

“Under Torbay Council policy, Mr Tardi was duty-bound to inform us of his driving ban. He did not inform us.

“As a banned driver he should have surrendered his Hackney Carriage driver licence, and he would not have been able to reapply for this licence until a minimum period of 12 months had passed after he has completed his driving ban.

“I have spoken to Mr Tardi regarding his alleged driving ban. He stated that he had nine points on his licence when he picked up three further points and a fine for driving without due care and attention following an accident.

“He was subsequently banned for six months for getting 12 points on his licence. At the time he had three points on his Hungarian driving licence for going through a red light in 2006.

“Also, in 2007, he picked up six points and a fine for driving with no insurance. The car was seized and crushed.

“Then, in February 2010, he picked up a further three points and a £150 fine for going through a red light.

“This was not taken to court until January 18, 2011, as the police had trouble contacting him because he had changed address. So, in total, he has received 15 points since 2006.”

The report states that Torbay Council has three options — to warn Mr Tardi about future conduct, to suspend him, or to revoke his Hackney Carriage driver licence.

It adds: “Consideration needs to be given as to whether Mr Tardi remains a fit and proper person.

“Torbay Council’s current Taxi Policy would suggest that Mr Tardi’s Hackney Carriage driver licence should be revoked for several reasons.

“Namely, the nature of the offences that led to the disqualification, the fact that he has been disqualified, and the fact that he failed to inform Torbay Council’s licensing department of that disqualification, as required to do.”


Private Hire Operator guilty of sex offence against 15-year-old

THE owner of a Private Hire firm has been banned from driving schoolchildren after he sexually touched a teenage girl.

Sadiq Choudhry, who runs 24 7 Private Hire, in Swadlincote, was convicted by a jury of four offences of sexual activity with a child.

Choudhry has now been sentenced to a three-year community order and banned from working with children.

A judge at Derby Crown Court said this meant Choudhry, 45, would not be able to transport schoolchildren or young people in his private hire vehicle.

Judge Hilary Watson said Choudhry had preyed on the 15-year-old girl’s vulnerability and called his behaviour “reprehensible”.

She said: “I find your behaviour to be persistent. You ignored clear verbal warnings from her about your intentions but you persisted.

“Your sexual gratification was uppermost in your mind when you preyed on her vulnerability.

“You touched her body in a way that was wholly inappropriate.”

Judge Watson added: “Because of your denial of the offences, she had to go through the account of what happened.

“She had to answer questions from your barrister, who called her a liar.”

Judge Watson said she had decided to pass a community order because if she sent Choudhry to prison the sentence would not be long enough for him to undertake the appropriate rehabilitation programmes.

She ordered that Choudhry, of Broadway Street, Burton, should attend a sex offenders’ group programme.

She also said he should pay £1,240 towards the court’s costs.

He must sign the sex offenders’ register and abide by a sexual offences prevention order for five years.

This includes not going within 50 metres of an educational establishment unless passing in his work, or dropping off or picking up his own children from school.

He must also not be in the company of or seek the company of a child under the age of 16, apart from a blood relative.

Graham Blower, in mitigation, handed newspaper cuttings to the judge about Choudhry’s work in the community.

Mr Blower said: “By and large he is a pillar of the community.

“He has been a parish councillor over the years.”

He said that Choudhry had organised a large fund-raising effort in his community to help victims of the Pakistan earthquake in 2009.

Judge Watson said that references and newspaper cuttings showed “another side” to Choudhry.

She said: “They show a pillar of the local community and one who would put himself out for people.

“And it would appear that it is just this area in which you need considerable help.”

Stevenage taxi driver guilty of rape

Mahmood will be sentenced on April 1.

A taxi driver has been found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in his cab.

Tariq Mahmood, 48, of Archer Road, Stevenage, was found guilty at Luton Crown Court on Thursday of the assault in Ripon Road, Stevenage, in the early hours of October 31, 2009.

The jury heard how he had picked the woman up from Stevenage Leisure Park, but stopped en route to her home and assaulted her. She fled the cab after the attack and called police.

“This case has been particularly traumatic and very stressful for the victim who has been incredibly brave in the lead up and throughout this court case,” said Det Insp Steve Keating from Herts Constabulary sexual offence investigation team.

“We hope that she will now be able to put this behind her and move forward with her life.”

He added that Mahmood may have attacked other women and called on anyone with information to come forward.

“The case does date back to October 2009 and we are appealing to anyone who may feel they may have also been a victim of assault by this man. If you think you may have information, please get in touch by calling 0845 33 00 222. All calls will be treated with the strictest confidence.”

Stevenage Chief Inspector Richard Liversidge added: “This was clearly a very traumatic incident for the victim, particularly as the offence was committed by someone who was entrusted by the community. It must be remembered that these offences are not common in Stevenage, but I would always ask members of the public to report any concerns.”

Mahmood, who was at the time licensed by Stevenage Borough Council, had his licence revoked while awaiting trial.

He will be sentenced on April 1.


Drive to smarten up ‘scruffy’ taxi drivers

DRESSING DOWN: Karl Stamper says being told what to wear ‘is a bit much’ and that hygiene is a more important issue

Taxi drivers in Cambridge will have a smart dress code from April 1 – and have been told not to wear garish shirts or jeans.

New rules on ‘what not to wear’ will come into force on April Fools’ Day with 167 Hackney cab drivers in the city told to ditch scruffy clothes and get smart.

The fashion edict issued by Cambridge City Licensed Taxis covers drivers who are allowed to pick up fares at the city’s train station.

Members of the group’s committee have told taxi drivers to wear smart trousers – and that jeans are not acceptable.

They are allowed to sport any kind of smart shirt with a collar except paisley shirts or multi-coloured Hawaiian shirts.

But Karl Stamper, a former member of the association’s committee, who is often seen sporting loud shirts, says the edict is misguided.

He said: “I think telling us what to wear is a bit much. It should be more focused on the drivers who are smelly and scruffy.

“It doesn’t really matter what they’re wearing as long as they are clean and look smart.

“The shirts I wear may not be to everyone’s taste and I have no problem wearing something different.”

Glenn Hall, chairman of the association, said: “We are asking drivers to enhance their appearance by not wearing jeans but to wear smart trousers and shirts with a collar and not polo-neck shirts or T-shirts.

“They can wear any colour shirt they like but not Hawaiian shirts or shirts with the English, Welsh or Scottish flags.”

He added: “We have had a lot of opposition to it but some drivers do look a bit scruffy and we hope they will smarten up, which will create a good image of Cambridge for people living here and visitors.

“We’ll have to wait and see how many comply.

“We chose April Fools’ Day just because it is the start of the financial year.” … rivers.htm

1 in 10 Tested Taxis Take off Road

One in ten taxis tested in Cornwall has been banned from the road.

Police and safety officials pulled over more than a hundred from Saltash to St Ives.

Among the problems found were worn tyres and frayed seatbelts.

Teams checked vehicles in Saltash, St Austell ,Camborne, Redruth and most recently around Bodmin, Hayle and St Ives.

About fifty percent of those vehicles inspected had minor defects included missing fire extinguishers and first aid kits, and broken light covers.

Roads Policing Inspector at Bodmin Martin Taylor said: “We understand that taxis are a valuable part of the local economy and our job is to make sure they are safe and people have the confidence to leave their own cars at home and use taxis when they have been drinking.
“We will continue making these checks and hope people see this as a positive step to increase their confidence in the licensing and enforcement authorities. Part of our aim is to support the majority of taxi operators who run safe and lawful businesses and we thank them for their compliance”.

Dumfries taxi driver left body in road

The court was told Brown drove off after hitting the man who had been lying in the roadway

A Dumfries taxi driver ran a man over and left his body lying in the street while he went to pick up a fare, a court has heard.

Andrew Brown, 47, admitted leaving the man lying injured in the town’s Newall Terrace to the danger of his life.

He thought he had hit a bag of rubbish but drove off even after finding out it had been a man lying in the road.

He was told to pay £5,000 compensation, given 10 points on his licence and also 300 hours community service.

Dumfries Sheriff Court heard how Brown pulled to a halt last August after striking something in road.

He checked to see what it was but when he found it was a body he drove off to pick up a passenger 10 miles away.

Depute fiscal Pamela Rhodes said it was only on his return from that journey that he went to the police station to report the incident.

Meanwhile, an off-duty policeman had come across David Woodward lying with critical injuries.

An anonymous caller had also phoned emergency services.

Mr Woodward, who had been heading home after being out for a drink, spent several weeks in hospital with multiple fractures and a tear to his spleen.

Brown, of West Riverside Drive, Dumfries, a taxi driver for 30 years with a clean licence, admitted culpably and recklessly leaving the injured man lying on the roadway.

He also admitted failing to report the accident as soon as reasonably practicable afterwards.

The depute fiscal stressed that there was no suggestion that Brown’s driving was at fault.

Crash investigators came to the conclusion that the victim had been lying on the roadway when he was hit.

Suspension completed

Solicitor Gavin Orr also pointed out that there was nothing to suggest that Brown’s driving in this incident was blameworthy in any way.

He said: “The driver had simply panicked after seeing the injured man.

“There were doors opening and people coming out and he believed the victim would be seen right away.

“There was just no rationality about his thoughts as he panicked although blameless.”

He appealed to the sheriff to deal with the case in a way in which his client would not lose his licence having already completed a four-month suspension imposed by the local authority.

Sheriff Kenneth Ross said he took all the factors into account but there was still a “callous disregard” in the way he had driven off.

However, in the circumstances he said he could step back from a custodial sentence.

source: … d-12486062

Driver at city centre taxi rank was three times drink-drive limit

Balwinder Singh

A taxi driver on duty and first in line to pick up passengers at a Wolverhampton city centre rank was three times the drink-drive limit when police spoke to him about ramshackle repairs holding together his cab, a court heard.

Police officers approached Balwinder Singh’s Mercedes Vito while he waited at the front of the rank in Market Street due to concerns over the safety of a sliding door on his cab — being held shut with computer cable. They immediately realised the father-of-two had been drinking.

A breathalyser test found he was almost three times the legal alcohol limit, Mr Roger Bleazard, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Magistrates Court.

Singh, of Broadstone Close, Goldthorn Park, later refused to supply a second sample and when asked if there was any medical reason he did not wish to provide one he replied: “Only my liver”, the court was told.

Bench chairman Mrs Anne Morgan told 41-year-old Singh adjourned the case so the probation service can prepare a report, but warned him he faces jail. He pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen and using a motor vehicle in a condition likely to cause danger yesterday.

Mr Kevin Good, for Singh, said his client was the “major breadwinner” for his family. His wife worked part-time to help support their children, aged five and 15, but the family’s financial circumstances would be “drastically affected” by his disqualification from driving, Mr Good told the court.

The court heard Singh had been parked at the front of a rank in Market Street when police noticed damage to the door of his cab at around 1.10am on February 5.

Mrs Morgan told Singh, who was convicted of drink driving in 2003 and speeding in February 2008 there were many “aggravating features” including his previous convictions.

Singh was granted unconditional bail to appear for sentence on March 10.