Manchester – Three illegal taxi drivers caught in Manchester have been ordered to pay a total of £2,785 after being prosecuted for breaking licensing rules.
In separate incidents, Manchester City Council officers routinely operating in the city centre observed the illegal activity.
Gary Edward Young was fined £1,050 with £655 costs and a £55 victim of crime surcharge. Young was also given eight penalty points after pleading guilty to operating an unlicensed private hire vehicle, operating as an unlicensed private hire driver and driving without insurance.
During the morning of Wednesday 25 June 2014, council officers observed Young drop off two passengers at Piccadilly Station, exchange money and provide a receipt. When challenged by officers, Young initially denied any offences – despite a working taxi-meter in the front of the vehicle showing a current fare of £28.50.
Mohammed Habib was fined £250 with £350 costs and a £25 victim of crime surcharge after pleading guilty to illegally plying for hire.
At around 2am on 4 May 2014, council officers observed two passengers flag down Habib’s Rossendale registered Hackney carriage on Deansgate. Only a Black Cab licensed by Manchester City Council is able to collect fares off the street without a booking.
Officers established that the passengers had agreed a £10 fare for a journey of less than a mile.
Habib, aged 30 and of Swayfield Avenue, Longsight, pleaded guilty to the offence of illegally plying for hire at Manchester Magistrates Court on 10 February 2015.
Sarmad Salih Abdulahi, 32, of Sandsend Close, Cheetham, was fined £220 with £160 costs and a £20 victim of crime surcharge. Abdulahi was also handed 6 penalty points after being found guilty of the offences of driving without insurance and being an unlicensed driver.
At 10am Wednesday 16 April 2014, council officers observed Abdulahi drop off a passenger at Piccadilly Station. The officers stopped Abdulahi and after interviewing advised he was to be prosecuted.
Abdulahi pleaded guilty to the charges at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 18 February 2015, but declared special reasons for driving without insurance, stating he thought the car’s owner had insured him. This was dismissed by the Magistrates.
Cllr Kate Chappell, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “These three prosecutions serve as a warning to rogue drivers – the consequences for illegally operating any taxi are both serious and costly.
“Our officers are working day and night around the city – if you are caught operating illegally, we will not hesitate to prosecute you.”