An ex-soldier who turned his life around after becoming a joint hackney carriage taxi/private hire licence holder in Torbay, has been allowed to continue working despite a conviction for assaulting a police officer.
Liam Calderbank was called to appear before Torbay Council’s licensing sub-committee on Thursday 3 December to explain the incident.
Councillors had to decide whether Mr Calderbank was still a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a licence, and whether his licence should be suspended, revoked, or allowed to continue running.
But after hearing from the former paratrooper about how important the job was to him, they decided to give him a written warning which would be on his record for 18 months.
Councillors heard Mr Calderbank was granted his joint licence in January and was convicted in October for the assault which took place in Torquay in March.
The court ordered him to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £150 compensation, a £90 victim surcharge and £40 prosecution costs.
Mr Calderbank told the council’s licensing sub-committee that the incident had happened following an argument with his partner, who subsequently called the police.
He said he was in an emotional state at the time of the incident and when officers arrived and he was told to leave the property of risk being arrested, he questioned why, as he believed he had done nothing wrong.
He explained that at that moment one of the officers held him and as he attempted to shrug him off, they fell against the sofa.
Mr Calderbank said he then stumbled on top of the officer and then attempted to get up off of him. He said that this altercation was treated as assault.
Mr Calderbank stressed that he did not attack the officer, but admitted he made an error of judgement, also denying that he was a risk to the public.
Explaining to the sub-committee, Mr Calderbank said that he was a good, professional driver and went out of his way to always assist passengers, and said he had never received any complaints.
Mr Calderbank spoke about his time in the Parachute Regiment service, where he travelled the world, but explained once leaving the army, he found himself in dead-end jobs and even homeless.
Since becoming a taxi driver he said he has managed to turn his life around, and was now petrified of losing his chance to continue due to the conviction.
The committee decided to issue a written warning, which would remain on his record for 18 months, and would be referred to if he appeared before the council’s licensing sub-committee again within that period.