A West Lindsey taxi driver who is accused of sexual assault has been banned from operating in the district.
The driver, who cannot be identified, was due to appear before a recent meeting of West Lindsey District Council’s Taxi and Licensing Sub-committee for the committee to consider if he was “fit and proper” to hold a council hackney carriage/private hire driver licence.
“A prosecution for sexual assault was pending with Greater Manchester Police, and Manchester City Council had raised concerns that he was continuing to work and that he was plying for hire illegally where he was not licensed to do so,” said the minutes of the meeting, which was held in private.
“The Sub Committee considered that not only was the applicant not a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage drivers licence, considered that revocation of his licence on grounds of his licence should be immediate on the grounds of public safety,” it said.
However, the October 23 meeting granted licences to two drivers who hid convictions for driving offences.
One said he made “a silly mistake” when he committed a driving offence and he made “a genuine mistake” when filling out his licence application form.
Granting the licence, the sub committee said it “takes convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol very seriously” but it was “an isolated conviction, it did not occur whilst operating a taxi,” and the driver has completed a driving rehabilitation course.
Another taxi driver said he had made “a genuine mistake” to say he had no criminal convictions as he “did not think driving convictions constituted criminal offences.
But the council accepted the man was ‘fit and proper’ as “the last conviction was five years ago and his life has moved on.”
This week, WLDC told the Rasen Mail the sex case driver does not have a West Lindsey area address..
Before the ban, the banned driver would have plied his trade in West Lindsey but also have could have accepted private hire bookings which may have taken him outside the district too. In the last 4/5 years, 2 or 3 allegations ‘along similar concerns’ have been raised,” said the council statement.
“The whole process of taxi licensing is in the main about protecting the public. Therefore if public safety is being compromised, the members of the sub-committee sometimes have to make difficult decisions and we have demonstrated that we will do that,” added committee chair Coun Jessie Milne.