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Man granted dual taxi and private hire licence despite previous conviction of carrying two knives 

A man has been granted a dual hackney carriage and private hire licence despite a previous conviction of carrying two knives.

John Hepburn was granted a licence by West Dunbartonshire Council despite living a life of crime which included being caught drink driving and having faced two driving bans.

Council members heard during a November licensing hearing that Hepburn had been locked-up for four months after being caught with two knives, and had also been convicted of driving without a licence or insurance.

Hepburn told the committee that the reason he carried the knives was because his younger brother had been killed by a man carrying a samurai sword.

A report was submitted by the Strategic Lead – Regulatory concerning the application by Hepburn, which included a letter dated 1 November 2019 from the Chief Constable of Police Scotland objecting the possibility of a licence being granted to Hepburn.


During the hearing, Councillors were told of Hepburn's convictions, which included one for driving in Alexandria without a licence and insurance in March 2003 and for which he received a £100 fine.


In 2004 he was jailed for being in possession of two knives - one a black hunting knife and another which was kitchen knife.


In January 2005, Hepburn was fined £350 and banned from the road for driving under the influence of alcohol.


On a separate occasion, he was fined £400 after he damaged a parked car near his home before driving off.


When he was tracked down by police, they found he was banned from driving and uninsured.

In March 2007, Hepburn was fined £335 and again disqualified for driving with no insurance.

And in March 2016, he was fined £100 for driving with a provisional licence without supervision.


As reported in the Daily Record, a council spokeswoman said: “The licensing committee takes into account a range of details, including background information, when determining any application for a licence. “In this case, the application for a taxi licence was granted for one year.”

Following discussion, it was agreed that the application be granted for a period of one year and that Mr Hepburn’s first application for renewal of licence would be referred to the Committee for consideration and determination.

Image credit: Pixabay

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