Private hire driver loses licence for hitting special needs child passenger on school run

A Cornwall private hire driver has had his licence revoked by the council after admitting to hitting a child during a school run contract. The unnamed PHV driver had his licence reviewed in June by Cornwall council's licensing committee following the incident.

Details of the meeting have been released by the council.

During the meeting, councillors heard that the child victim claimed the driver had been abusive towards him during the school run.

Members of the licensing committee heard that the driver pinched the hands of his passenger, grabbed their knee and hit them on the head with a coffee cup.

The driver attended the hearing and answered questions from the councillors in the hope of retaining his licence. The minutes published by Cornwall Council state the driver ‘admitted that he transported a child under a school contract and the driver was not cleared by the council’s passenger transport section to undertake that contract’.

And that he ‘further admitted at least one further such incident’.

It went on to say: ‘The special education needs co-coordinator and the deputy safeguarding lead at the school noted that when the child arrived at school after the journey from home he looked flustered and uncomfortable. ‘The child in question alleged that during the journey the driver had pinched/squeezed the child’s hands, grabbed the child’s knee and the back of the child’s neck and hit the child on the head with the driver’s coffee cup.

‘The majority of these incidents took place in front of three other children who were in the car. The driver admitted the incidents but not the detail. Upon questioning he conceded that he should have asked the child to sit in the back seat. ‘The social worker noted that the child had a red mark, a lump and what looked like it would turn into a bruise above the right eye, where it was alleged that the child was hit with a coffee cup. The child’s foster carer had confirmed that the child had no marks or bruising to the head or neck that morning previous to the journey to school.’ As reported in the Cornwall Live, the driver was not even allowed to be taking the children on the school run.

The driver was considered to not be a fit and proper person to drive a private hire vehicle, therefore the decision was made to revoke his licence.

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