A court has upheld a decision by the council to revoke the licences of a taxi driver who regularly carried a drug dealer in his vehicle.
Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard that Bodrul Ali, a licensed Brighton & Hove taxi driver for 19 years, had his taxi driver’s licence and taxi vehicle licence revoked last year.
This followed the arrest of a passenger in the taxi who was carrying 30 bags of cocaine. The passenger was subsequently convicted of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.
Examination of CCTV footage from Bodrul Ali’s vehicle showed that the same passenger had been transported on numerous other occasions, making multiple stops across the city.
The council believed the taxi driver was knowingly transporting the drug dealer and was not a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold the taxi licences.
Mr Ali appealed against this decision, but in court on 12 December 2022 a district judge dismissed his appeal stating that he had not satisfied the fit and proper test. She found that the conclusions of the council that he was knowingly transporting a drug dealer were overwhelming.
The judge said the council’s decision to revoke the licences was the correct one in the interests of safeguarding the public and she ordered Bodrul Ali to pay the council’s costs.
Councillor Zoe John, chair of the council’s Licensing Committee, said: “Taxi and private hire drivers hold a unique position of trust in the community. The majority of drivers are brilliant and take their responsibilities very seriously, this case was an exception and it highlights that we will not hesitate to take action where a taxi driver falls short of our licensing standards.
“Safeguarding the public is our priority and we are proud of our high licensing standards in Brighton & Hove. This was a serious case and we are pleased the judge has upheld our decision and dismissed the appeal.”