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PHV driver sentenced after swapping plates and HAND PAINTING decoy car to replace licensed write off

Image credit: West Yorkshire Police

The owner of a private hire vehicle (PHV) that was damaged in a serious road traffic collision has been sentenced after he obtained a similar looking car, painted it by hand, and put the original licensing plates on it.

A black ‘15-plate’ Toyota Auris owned by Amjad Khan was involved in a serious road traffic collision in December 2021 which left it likely to be beyond repair.

But by 27 October last year, what appeared to be the same vehicle, displaying the same registration number, was taken for inspection to Bradford Council’s Taxi Licensing Department.

Police officers were present at the inspection and they soon established that the vehicle’s identity markings did not match the colour.

The car had been poorly painted to match the colour of the minicab involved in the collision.

Further enquiries revealed the owner of the registration number to be Khan and that he had rented it out, along with the painted car, to an entirely innocent driver.

Appearing before Bradford Crown Court on Friday, Khan who admitted two counts of fraud at a previous hearing, was sentenced to a 12-month community order.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £85 costs.

A Proceeds of Crime Act Confiscation Order for £1,400 was also made. It would result in a two-month prison sentence if not paid.

The driver also had his Bradford PHV licence revoked by the local authority.

Paul Jeffrey, West Yorkshire Police Casualty Prevention Unit, said: “West Yorkshire Police works closely with partner agencies to ensure vehicles being used for hire and reward are safe and comply with all registration requirements.

“Here, a different vehicle was presented for inspection bearing a false identity in that it had the same number plates as a car previously used by Khan as a taxi.

“Vehicle registrations are not interchangeable, and when detected the police will take action to address any offences and ensure vehicle safety is not compromised.

“This remains a priority in our efforts to prevent road casualties.”

Cllr Abdul Jabar, Bradford Council’s Porfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “Following reports made to the council that a Private Hire Vehicle was operating on false number plates, officers from the Licensing Service initiated an investigation with the support of our partners at West Yorkshire Police. “The vehicle was identified and brought to the Licensing Service where Enforcement and Police Officers completed an inspection, during this inspection the suspicions were confirmed and the vehicle was seized. “The resulting prosecution is a demonstration of effective partnership working between the Licensing Service and West Yorkshire Police. The Licensing regime exists to ensure that vehicles and drivers licensed by the Council are safe and suitable. Mr Khans actions directly contravened the standards expected and subsequently he has been prosecuted. Mr Khan has had his licences reviewed and subsequently does not now hold any Taxi or Private Hire Licenses with Bradford Council.”


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