An Irthlingborough taxi driver has been fined nearly £4,000 for a number of offences including lying and driving without a licence.
Shahid Ahmad, owner of Easy Cars, was licensed with East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) to run a private hire business from an address in Irthlingborough.
In May, a member of the public made a complaint when Easy Cars failed to fulfil a booking she had made.
This instigated an investigation by ENC officers which led to proof that Ahmad did not operate his business from Irthlingborough but instead from his home address in Wellingborough.
He had lied to obtain the correct licences required to run his taxi business.
He was operating illegally, putting the public at risk and so an ENC licensing panel revoked Ahmad’s licences (his operator licence, private hire vehicle licence and driver’s badge).
Given the seriousness of the offences uncovered during the investigation and the fact that Ahmad misled officers at ENC to obtain his operator’s licence, the council decided to prosecute.
On November 28 at Northampton Magistrates Court, Ahmad was found guilty under the Local Government (miscellaneous provisions) Act 1976.
He was fined £750 for lying to obtain an operator’s licence, £500 for operating a vehicle without a valid operator’s licence and £500 for failing to keep correct paperwork.
He was also ordered to pay £2,000 towards costs and a £75 victim surcharge.
ENC leader Cllr Steven North said: “The safety of our residents and visitors is important to the authority and where that safety is compromised, as it was in this case, it was important to ensure all enforcement measures were utilised.
“We hope this serves as a warning to all who believe they can lie to get a licence.
“With the festive period upon us, we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to only get into licensed taxis and ensure your journeys are planned in advance.”
To find out if a taxi is properly licensed, you can check the ENC public register at www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/taxi.