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Axe attacker fails in bid to obtain cabbie licence

A man has failed in a bid to be granted a cab licence by a panel at Newcastle Magistrates' Court over concerns that he may turn violent during a likely altercation after serving time in jail for a previous axe attack.

Imran Akram, 25, from Fenham, insisted he had turned his life around after finding religion, but a panel decided because of a past which involved drugs, crime and violence, he could not be considered a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

The court heard Akram committed weapons offences in 2011 and 2015 and also received a caution for possession of class B in 2012.

In 2017 he was found guilty of conspiracy to supply and, only last summer, police had spotted a car which was insured in his name which was being used to deal drugs.

As reported in the Chronicle Live, the three-person panel ruled Akram, released from jail in 2017, hadn't been out of trouble for long enough to grant him a licence. As well as the violent axe attack, which left his victim needing stitches, there was also another act of violence. This time it was an incident which was simply referred to as the "baseball bat incident”. In his defence, Akram said the axe attack was carried out in the "heat of the moment".

He said: "I've changed my lifestyle and want to be a father to my kids."

Putting his previous offences down to being "just a child at the time", Akram said he was "a changed man”. But Newcastle Magistrates' Court heard fears that heavily convicted Akram couldn't be trusted with the safety of strangers. The panel heard that during his time served in jail, he took a personal training course and dropped from 17st to 11st as well as undertaking a college course which will see him start a two-week placement with British Gas.

Akram claimed that after finding faith in the Muslim religion, he hoped to drive a cab until he could embark on a new career. But council solicitor Louise Coulson stated if he did get the job, there was a strong chance he'd run into a hostile situation at some point. Cllr Cousin asked: "How would you ensure you didn't act in the heat of the moment again?” The final conclusion from the magistrates' was that he could not be considered a fit and proper person at this time to hold a licence.

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