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Taxi driver's licence revoked after threatening child he would stop in the ‘forest with the wolves’



A Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) Council taxi driver had his licence revoked after threatening a child with learning difficulties that he would stop "in the middle of the forest with the wolves".


The driver appeared before a BANES Council Licensing Subcommittee to provide his side of the story in November. The unnamed driver defended his actions by stating that he had been concerned about the child's disruptive behaviour during the ride. The child had allegedly pulled the escort's hair, kicked her, kicked the chair, and even punched the window.

Feeling unsafe to drive under such circumstances, the driver stopped the vehicle, opened the passenger door and said: “Please stop, if you don’t stop you stay here in the middle of the forest with the wolves.” After which the child reportedly cried then for 10 or 20 seconds.


During questioning by Cllr Steve Hedges, the driver claimed that he had been attempting to calm the child down and assist the escort. He tried to justify his behaviour by mentioning a language barrier and his concerns about driving safely. However, it was revealed that no concern was expressed by the escort or the parent at the time of the incident.


The Public Protection Officer (Licensing) highlighted that the driver's actions had prompted the escort to make a complaint, leading to the subsequent investigation. It was also mentioned that the driver had attended a safeguarding course following the incident. However, the driver admitted to not fully comprehending the course due to language barriers.

When questioned about his current employment, the driver stated that he is presently working as a private hire and hackney carriage taxi driver but has ceased carrying out school runs.


The Chair pointed out that the driver's responsibility as a taxi driver is to transport passengers safely and not to discipline them. The Chair suggested that pulling over and waiting for the child to calm down would have been a more appropriate action. The driver acknowledged this and admitted that, in hindsight, he should have taken that course of action.


In his final statement, the driver emphasised that he is generally a good taxi driver but occasionally makes mistakes. He expressed his love for his job, his enjoyment in helping people, and his desire to continue working as a taxi driver.


Taking into account the written accounts, the representations made by the licensee, and statements of the driver and his interpreter, the Licensing Subcommittee reached the decision to revoke the driver's combined hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence. The decision was influenced by the licensee's previous suspension due to speeding offenses and other recent licensing issues. The Subcommittee concluded that the driver is no longer deemed fit and proper to hold a licence.

Opmerkingen


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