Unfit taxi driver loses licence after court backs council

A Scarborough taxi driver has lost his licence and been ordered to pay �1,000 costs to the borough council following a trial.
A Scarborough taxi driver has lost his licence and been ordered to pay �1,000 costs to the borough council following a trial.

Magistrates have backed a decision to revoke a Scarborough taxi driver’s licence after deeming him “not a fit and proper person” to hold one.

In January Scarborough Council’s licensing sub-committee decided to rescind the dual driver’s licence issued to Beeline Cabs driver Barry Douthwaite, after hearing details of a string of offences and breaches committed by him.

Mr Douthwaite appealed to Scarborough Magistrates’ Court against the decision and the case went to trial.

Magistrates found in the council’s favour, confirming Mr Douthwaite was “not a fit and proper person” to hold the licence and that the “safety of the travelling public was of paramount importance”.

The court heard Mr Douthwaite had accrued convictions for careless driving after a member of the public was knocked down for failing to stop at a traffic collision, failing to report a traffic collision, several speeding offences and disregarding traffic lights. He had also failed to report details of the offence and conviction to Scarborough Council, as required by the conditions of his licence.

Magistrates were also told he had been abusive to council officers, breached the authority’s taxi and private hire policy on numerous occasions, had reversed 80 yards up a one-way street at 20mph and received excessive points on his driving licence.

Scarborough Council’s head of environmental services, Andy Skelton, said: “We’re pleased our decision to revoke Mr Douthwaite’s licence has been fully endorsed.

“Licensed operators and their private hire drivers must take notice of this decision. The good reputation that the vast majority of licensed drivers have in relation to their high standard of driving and professionalism is being adversely affected by a minority of irresponsible drivers and a lack of supervision by some licensed operators.

“Licences will be revoked where evidence shows the holder is ‘not a fit and proper person’ or where the safety of the travelling public is not being prioritised.”

Magistrates ordered Mr Douthwaite to pay £1,000 costs to the council.