A taxi driver who refused to take a blind woman and her guide dog was caught as part of a huge crackdown on cabbies breaking the law.You'll never guess....
Qurban Hussain was booked by a test purchaser carrying out checks on private hire drivers for Kirklees Council.Well, well, well...
The operation came following reports that there were taxi drivers in the area refusing to pick up disabled passengers and their assistance dogs. The 47-year-old, who works for Pennine Heckmondwike Cars, was booked for a pickup from Morrisons in Heckmondwike at 1pm on June 23 last year.At last, councils actually doing their duty!
Gareth Henderson-Moore, prosecuting, said: "On that date Kirklees Council was conducting a covert operation which involved an officer from the council making a booking for a taxi.
"When the taxi arrived she was accompanied by a member of the public who is registered blind and needs an assistance dog to identify whether drivers would accept the booking."
"He attended at the pickup location and there was no issue with accepting the booking until he saw the assistance dog whereby he refused the booking and said he didn't take dogs and told her to get in the car behind."Heh! Busted!
"I said it's part of his licence under the Equality Act to allow the dog into the car because it's a working dog and he still said 'no'."
She said that once it was clear that Hussain was refusing to take the dog she made the agreed hand signal to two enforcement officers who then came over and spoke with him.I bet that concentrated his mind somewhat. Though clearly, he thought it was worth pleading ignorance/
Hussain, of Thomas Street in Heckmondwike, pleaded not guilty to failing or refusing to carry out a booking for a disabled person accompanied by an assistance dog.
His solicitor Khalid Hussain said that there was no evidence that the call taker asked Hussain to pick up Ms Wood-Brignall.
"Whether or not he takes the dog is of no consequence. He made it clear he was not the driver allocated."Luckily, the magistrates weren't having it.
...magistrates found the case proved against Hussain due to the credible evidence of the witnesses and fined him £120. He was ordered to pay £700 towards prosecution costs and £30 victim surcharge.He should also be barred from applying for a private hire licence for life.