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Uber driver faces hefty penalties after caught plying for hire for a SECOND TIME in Reading

Updated: 17 hours ago

A Fareham Borough Council-licensed Uber driver has been penalised over £1,000 and received eight penalty points on his driving licence after being caught illegally plying for hire in Reading for the second time.

Muhamad Ismail Mahumuthu Atham was fined and ordered to pay legal costs amounting to £1,195. The verdict was delivered at Reading Magistrates' Court in June 2024.

The 52-year-old was caught by Reading Council Licensing officers on Oxford Road, Reading, on 2 December 2022. He agreed to pick up two officers posing as passengers outside a late-night food outlet. Upon recognising one of the officers, Mr Atham drove off with the rear door still open.

During the hearing on 17 June 2024, Mr Atham was found guilty on three counts:

  • Plying for hire without a hackney carriage vehicle licence - £200 fine

  • Plying for hire without a hackney carriage driver’s licence - £100 fine

  • Driving without insurance – eight penalty points.

Additionally, he was ordered to pay £775 towards prosecution costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Mr Atham has a prior conviction for the same offence. On 9 November 2020, he was found guilty of illegally plying for hire in Reading.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Climate Strategy and Transport, said: "This successful conviction by Reading's diligent licensing team shows that Private Hire drivers who think they are above the law will not escape punishment.

"Private Hire and Hackney Carriage customers deserve to trust that their driver is properly insured and licensed. Our officers routinely conduct operations in town centre hotspots to enforce these standards.

“We are thankful for the support from the majority of Reading's law-abiding taxi trade. Unlicensed drivers who undermine this trust will be dealt with firmly to maintain public confidence and ensure safety in our nighttime economy.

"If you have any concerns about taxi or private hire drivers, you can report them confidentially to us at or through the Council Contact Centre at 0118 937 3787."


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