A taxi driver was ordered to pay costs of £3848 when his appeal against a decision by Hyndburn Borough Council to revoke his private hire driver's licence was dismissed at Blackburn Magistrates Court.
Nasar Perwez aged 41 of Worcester Road Blackburn had his private hire drivers licence revoked by the Council's Licensing Judicial Committee on the 30th October 2018 following a complaint from a member of the public that Mr Perwez had refused to carry his assistance dog in the front of his private hire vehicle.
In October 2018 he was booked to carry a passenger and guide dog. On arriving at the passenger’s house, he loaded some articles into the boot, but then insisted the guide dog ride on its own in the rear of his vehicle, despite the passenger explaining that the dog was trained to sit at his feet in the front passenger footwell. Mr Perwez then unloaded the articles and left them on the side of the road, causing difficulty for the passenger who could not see them, and who was helped to retrieve them by his 92 year old mother.
The magistrates heard how the refusal to carry the guide dog where it had been trained to travel meant that both the dog and owner would become distressed, and that the refusal had affected the passenger's confidence in travelling.
The magistrates found that when giving evidence Mr Perwez had been inconsistent in his recall of the incident and that oral evidence given in court varied from the evidence that he had given whilst being interviewed by licensing officers. They determined that the decision of the Council that Mr Perwez is not a fit and proper person to hold a private hire driver's licence was correct.
Cllr Melissa Fisher, Chair of the Licensing Judicial Committee, said that the decision of the magistrates has vindicated the action taken by the Council. She said “Hyndburn Borough Council take customer safety very seriously and will always fully investigate any complaints received and take any appropriate action up to and including revocation of a licence in order to ensure that members of the public can have confidence when getting into a vehicle licensed by this Council. The Council will always do everything we can to ensure that people who use our licensed vehicles are not discriminated against in any way and the actions of the driver in this particular incident were totally unacceptable.”
James Button of James Button & Co. Solicitors acted for Hyndburn Borough Council.