Image: Derbyshire Police Roads Unit
A Derby taxi driver was disqualified for dangerous driving after first claiming a ‘medical episode’ and then blaming a rouge stray animal for the crash.
Both Derby City Council and Derbyshire police worked on the case which sees the taxi driver disqualified from driving and his taxi licence revoked following an incident in February 2018.
At the time of the incident the driver, Mr Azhar Iqbal stated to Police he had suffered a ‘medical episode’ which caused him to lose control of, and crash his taxi close to the M1 junction on the A52. Shortly after the incident, Derby City Council’s Taxi Licensing team conducted an investigation.
However, during the investigation the driver changed his story to say that he had swerved his vehicle to avoid hitting an animal in the road and had not suffered a ‘medical episode’ as he’d previously said.
Following the City Council’s investigation, the driver appeared before the Council’s Licensing Committee where his taxi license was revoked as the Committee did not feel that the driver was fit and proper to hold the licence, a decision supported by police colleagues. The driver subsequently decided to appeal this decision in the Magistrates court. However, a concurrent investigation by Derbyshire police into the incident concluded that the driver had been driving dangerously and Mr Iqbal was charged with the offence of dangerous driving.
Appearing in court, the driver entered a guilty plea and was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also sentenced to a 12 month community order, 50 hours unpaid work, £500 prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
PC Oli Priddle from Derbyshire police commented: “Taxi drivers, and others who drive professionally, have a duty of care to their passengers – as well as other road users. It was by luck rather than judgment that nobody was seriously hurt as a result of Azhar Iqbal’s actions. We welcome this sentence and hope that it acts as a lesson to others who get behind the wheel when not in a fit state to do so.”
Richard Antcliff, Director of Public Protection & Streetpride added: “Partnership working between the police and ourselves is essential to keeping Derby and its residents safe. This prosecution and licensing committee decision shows that we will work together and take action to remove unsafe drivers from the roads.”