Former Private Hire Driver who got in the back of vehicle with female passenger has a new applicatio
A former private hire driver who took a female passenger to a darkened road in Middlesbrough in December 2016 has had a new application to get his licence back rejected by Teesside Magistrates Court. Mohammed Rahman, of Linthorpe, lost his appeal against a Stockton Council decision to revoke his licence following the incident during a hearing on Friday April 26.
The court heard how Mr Rahman got in the back of his private hire vehicle with the teenage student in December 2016, where he began to kiss her hand. This was after driving the girl around the town for an hour and a half. As reported by the Teesside Live two passing men saw the car parked and approached while filming on one of their phones. The two men challenged Rahman - a video which was posted on YouTube.
During a trial in 2017, the 37-year-old was found not guilty of sexual assault, but magistrates still decided, on the balance of probabilities, he was "not a fit and proper person" to hold a private hire licence, so ordered the revocation of his licence. Rahman had picked up the 19-year-old student, on the night of December 8 after she had got into an argument with her parents and asked to leave their house.
They originally drove to a Normanby hotel which was closed so they drove and later stopped on Dockside Road, Middlehaven.
The court heard how Rahman, who was working for private hire firm Boro Cars, had logged out of work at 12.55am and was intending to go home to his wife and family when he saw the lone female.
The pick up could of been considered illegal as Rahman, as a private hire driver, only has a licence to to take pre-booked trips.
He claimed the student had directed him to go down Dockside Road after he drove her around the town for between 90 minutes and two hours in the small hours of the morning. When questioned about entering the rear of the vehicle where the teenager was sitting, Mr Rahman admitted he had kissed the woman's hand and put his arm around her without being asked, but had claimed that he was just being a good Samaritan. Chris Morrison, a solicitor on behalf of Stockton Council, said he didn't agree with Mr Rahman's claims he was being a good Samaritan given the "secluded" spot where they were found and challenged.
Mr Morrison said: "As far as we are concerned, there are some behaviours here which are so far away from ordinary decent behaviour of a fit and proper person - especially with regard to public safety." The court heard how Rahman asked the teenager if she had a boyfriend and that the young woman was in a "upset and vulnerable state".
Mr Morrison questioned why he had picked her up after he had clocked off and why the pair had ended up on Dockside Road.
Mr Morrison added: "This is not a quiet residential street, this is the very opposite of that - it's somewhere where help is not at hand and if you cry out nobody can help you and it's so dark, if something happens nobody can see it."
Mr Morrison said: "It rather looks like what it is I'm afraid - someone who had taken advantage of a vulnerable young lady - that, in anybody's measure, is not a fit and proper person." Rahman's Solicitor Anthony Schiller, said his client had no black marks against his name prior to this incident and pointed to how his client was found "not guilty" on two previous occasions, once for sexual assault and another for illegally plying for hire.
He also suggested CCTV could be fitted in taxis used by Mr Rahman if magistrates gave him his licence back. But the panel was not convinced. Chairman of the bench Kevin Morris said Mr Rahman had "deliberately deviated" from his way home from North Ormesby. And he added there were plenty of other places he could have gone to help the girl - including Boro Taxis headquarters. Mr Morris added: "We do not believe you were acting in the best interests of the young lady at the time of the incident, "Therefore, on the balance of probabilities, we do not believe you are a fit and proper person to hold a licence." Mr Rahman was ordered to pay £800 in court costs
Image: Source; Pixabay
Image: Author; DariouszSankowski