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Ex-councillors cab licence suspended over online bullying

An ex-councillors taxi licence has been suspended after he set up a Facebook group and posted derogatory and offensive comments aimed at council officials John Gerrard, the former Labour representative for the Mersey ward in Runcorn had his taxi licence suspended for a week, with an initial suspension of three months set aside by a Warrington combined court. Mr Gerrard set up the Facebook group called "Where's Nick," in reference to Nick Wheeler, a local taxi enforcement officer. It was on this Facebook page that Mr Wheeler, and his colleague, senior traffic council officer Stephen Rimmer, were the victims of abuse and derogatory comments. Mr Gerard had claimed that Mr Wheelers nickname was "Dick" and that he meant to refer to Mr Rimmer as a twit rather than a twat, claiming predictive text was to blame for altering the spelling on another post. These claims were dismissed by Judge Knight Judge Knight summed up by stating that Mr Wheelers ability to perform his duty has been undermined by Mr Gerrard's social media posts through misinformation, as well as other individuals unleashing vitriol due to getting the wrong end of the stick. Judge Knight stated that she would give Mr Gerard the benefit of the doubt given that he believed the site was a closed group. Mr Gerard received a week long suspension, this falls on the back of two other drivers being suspended for a month for a similar offence. 

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