Taxi hopeful stopped in his tracks after failing to disclose previous convictions during application

Halil Pekmezci, of Princess Court, Cambridge, applied for a joint hackney carriage/private hire vehicle driver's licence from the Uttlesford District council but did not disclose the convictions which included a number of benefit fraud offences and a crime and disorder offence. At Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 1 August, Pekmezci was found guilty in his absence of making a false statement in order to obtain a licence. He was fined £220 and ordered to pay the council's prosecution costs of £623.18 and a £30 victim surcharge, totalling more than £870.

His application had already been refused by the council's Licensing and Environmental Health Committee on 23 April. Cllr Patrick Lavelle, Chair of the committee, said: "The council has robust policies and procedures in place that are designed to keep passengers safe when using taxis and private hire vehicles in the district. "Failure to declare a conviction on a taxi driver licence application is an offence, and I hope this prosecution serves as a reminder to those who deliberately seek to mislead the council that we will find out and we will take the necessary course of action. The circumstances of this particular case made the applicant unsuitable for the responsibility of accepting passengers." 

Image: Source; Public Domain Pictures

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