Updated: Mar 4, 2020
A Chester-le-Street woman is facing a legal bill of almost £1,500 for driving a taxi without a licence or valid insurance.
Lorraine Ferguson was investigated following a complaint about her driving from a member of the public last July.
They had complained that Ferguson had unexpectedly pulled in front of their car on 9 July 2019.
He had to brake harshly in poor weather, and with his children in the car, to narrowly avoid an accident with Ferguson.
Council checks revealed that her hackney carriage licence had expired several weeks before this.
As a result of the licence expiring, Ferguson's insurance was also invalid.
Forty-three-year-old Ferguson confirmed she had been driving the car at the time of the incident.
When interviewed under caution she admitted that she had stopped working as a taxi driver and claimed that surrendering her licence had slipped her mind.
Ferguson, of Lowther Avenue, Chester-le-Street, failed to attend Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court.
The case was heard in her absence and she was fined £1,100.
Ferguson was also ordered to pay £357.85 court costs and a £66 victim surcharge. Eight points will also be added to her driving licence.
Owen Cleugh, Consumer Protection Manager, said, "Having a valid hackney carriage driver's licence is vital in order to help keep members of the public safe.
"This outcome should serve as a warning to all drivers to keep their licences up to date and ensure all details are correct as checks will continue to be carried out by Durham County Council and action will be taken against anyone not complying."
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