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Female passengers left shaken after hotel booked unlicensed taxi which was being tracked by police

2 Jun 2019

Two female passengers were left shaken after a simple Cambridgeshire taxi ride turned into a frightening journey. 

 

The two women asked staff at the Oakley Lodge Hotel, where they were staying for the night, to book them a taxi into town so they could enjoy a nice meal at a village restaurant.

Katie Pearlman, 22, and her friend Shirley Gooden, jumped in the vehicle which was arranged by hotel staff, only to find out during the trip that the driver wasn't even licensed to drive a taxi and was being tracked by police for driving without insurance.

 

As reported in the Cambridgeshire Live, Katie and Shirley found themselves in "such a scary situation."


According to the report, the ladies were running late for a dinner reservation so asked the hotel to order them a taxi to take them to the restaurant.

  

Katie recalls the vehicle, a black car with blacked out windows, pulling up outside the hotel. She added that she did notice that it had no signage on the doors or roof. 

  

But said because the driver got out the vehicle and spoke to a member of the hotel staff, she thought they were obviously familiar with one another and was probably a private company that the hotel use for guests.  

  

The two women jumped in the car and started their journey into the village. 

She recalled the driver turning around to them both to ask where they were going, which is something she thought the hotel would've told him when booking the vehicle.

 

Katie then explained how the driver was "speeding and going really fast" down roads.

 

The driver then took a turn in the opposite direction to where the restaurant was, but when asked, he said he was using a short cut because of traffic.


Katie said: "Once we turned the corner all I could see was blue flashing lights surrounding the car. Police came out of nowhere and pulled over our 'taxi'."

 

The driver exited the car and a police officer approached the ladies to ask why they were in it. 

The officer made them aware that the vehicle was being tracked by the police because it was being driven illegally without insurance. 

 

Shaken, the ladies explained how they came about being in the vehicle. Katie said the police were extremely understanding and even took them to the restaurant to make sure they were safe. 

 

A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshrie Constabulary said: "Officers on patrol on October 13 stopped a vehicle they believed was being driven without insurance.

"Don Weerakoon, 29, of Victoria Road, Cambridge, was arrested and later charged with using a motor vehicle without third party insurance.

"He appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on October 15." 

 

A spokeswoman from the British Transport Police said: "A 29-year-old man appeared at Cambridge Magistrates Court on October 15 charged with fraud by false representation, and a further count of driving a vehicle without third party insurance.

"Don Weerakoon, of Victoria Road, Cambridge, will appear at Peterborough Magistrates Court on February 21 in relation to the first charge, and again on 27 February at Cambridge Magistrates Court in relation to the second."  

 

On 21 February, Don Weekaroon was remanded on unconditional bail until 29 May, at 10am in the Cambridge Court House. According to reports, the reason for the adjournment for the trial was for the defendant to attend.

Weekaroon then appeared at Cambridge Magistrates Court on 27 February, in relation for the offence of no insurance. Because of no evidence being offered, It was dismissed.

He again appeared before Cambridge Magistrates on 29 May and the case was once again dismissed as there was no evidence offered.  


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