£30 fare turned into a £1000 fine for private hire driver who accepted trip without being prebooked

A private hire driver has been ordered to pay over £1000 for picking up a fare illegally in Liverpool city centre.  

Diakite was approached by two men while parked in his Toyota minicab and accepted a trip for the agreed cost of £30. 

What Diakite didn't realise at the time of accepting the fare, was that the two men were in fact undercover enforcement officers working as part of a crackdown against the illegal workings of some private hire drivers.  

All fares taken by a private hire driver must be prebooked through an operator,  any trip accepted by a driver directly is in breach of the "plying for hire"  law, which is only allowed by licensed taxi drivers.  

Not only was Diakite charged with illegally plying for hire,  but also the charge of driving without insurance. 

As soon as a private hire driver accepts a fare that has not been prebooked his insurance to carry paying passengers becomes invalid.  

According to a report in the Liverpool Echo, Diakite denied picking anyone up the two men, claiming that the officers must have been mistaken. 

But a judge at Liverpool Magistrates Court  rejected Diakite’s version of events and fined him a total of £945 with £300 costs. He also received eight penalty points on his licence. 

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