Unlicensed Rushden private hire driver fined

Harjinder Sondhi was fined at Northampton Magistrates Court
Harjinder Sondhi was fined at Northampton Magistrates Court

A Rushden unlicensed private hire vehicle driver has been fined £250 by magistrates after illegally picking up customers in East Northamptonshire.

Harjinder Sondhi was caught in March 2013 by a licensing enforcement officer after he was reported for not wearing the appropriate badge.

At an interview with East Northamptonshire Council in April, he admitted he did not have a license to operate a private hire vehicle and the case was referred to the courts.

Mr Sondhi did not attend Northampton Magistrates Court on 23 September but entered a guilty plea by letter to the offence of using a private hire vehicle without a current licence.

At the court hearing, Mr Sondhi was fined £80 for operating a private hire vehicle without a licence.

He was also ordered to pay £150 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Cllr Glenn Harwood said: “This was first-class work by the licensing officer.

“Unlicensed drivers who ply for hire are not insured and therefore pose a serious risk to public safety.

“Residents and visitors to our district need to be confident they’re in a safe, licensed private hire vehicle or taxi.

“Most private hire companies and their drivers carry out their trade lawfully and condemn the few that bring the trade into disrepute.

“All legitimately licensed private hire vehicle drivers are required by law to wear their private hire vehicle badge and the vehicles display a council plate on the rear.”