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Taxi driver who wanted to kiss a passenger loses final appeal

A taxi driver who asked a passenger for a kiss in exchange for her change has lost his final appeal against East Herts Council's decision to revoke his licence.

­­­­­­­St Albans Crown Court ordered him to pay costs of £2,200 to the council, on top of the £1,800 that magistrates had already billed him.

A 16-year-old female passenger complained that Mohammed Ayubi had made inappropriate comments about her age, appearance and whether she had a boyfriend before reportedly asking for a kiss, in return for giving her the full change. 

East Herts Council's licensing sub-committee revoked his licence in 2016. Mr Ayubi appealed the decision at Stevenage Magistrates' Court but the court's ruling was unclear so the council challenged the decision at the High Court where respected Judge Duncan Ouseley sent the case back to the magistrates to consider again. In June this year magistrates backed the council and dismissed the appeal.

Mr Ayubi again appealed and the appeal was heard in St Albans Crown Court earlier this month. The judge, having heard evidence from the council, Mr Ayubi and witnesses called by Mr Ayubi, dismissed the appeal, upholding the council's decision to revoke the licence.

In making the decision, the judge remarked that the complaints to the taxi company about Mr Ayubi's behaviour were prompt and consistent and the female passenger had altered her routine for getting home from work as a result of what happened. The judge concluded that there was no reason to suppose the passenger had made things up.

Graham McAndrew, executive member for environment and the public space, said: "East Herts Council has pursued this case for almost two years. We are committed to ensuring that passengers are safe and that our licensed taxi drivers uphold the standards we expect of them.

 

 

October 25 2018