Sunderland taxi driver convicted of illegally plying for hire

A private hire driver from Sunderland has been convicted of driving without insurance and illegally plying for hire.

By Echo Reporter
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 10:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 10:49 am

Mahsum Sultan, 31, was interviewed by Sunderland City Council licensing officers after a complaint from a member of the public who alleged overcharging during a journey and that the journey had not been booked in advance.

Under the rules, only appropriately licensed Hackney Carriage (Taxi) drivers are able pick up customers without a pre-booking having been made. Mr Sultan was a private hire driver and so committed the offence of 'Plying for Hire'.

Mr Sultan, of Gisland Street, also committed the offence of driving without insurance as his policy states that all journeys must be pre-booked.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

He initially denied any wrongdoing in interview but later pleaded guilty to both offences when he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates Court on July 5.

Mr Sultan received eight penalty points on his licence and was ordered to pay total fines and costs of £404. Newcastle City Council, where he was licensed, have now revoked his private hire driver’s licence.

Councillor Jill Fletcher, chair of Sunderland City Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee, said: "I am glad that our officers were able to take action against a driver flouting the law.

"We will take action against all taxi drivers who put the people of Sunderland at risk by driving without valid insurance, regardless of which local authority they hold a licence with.

"The details of the complaint were raised with Newcastle City Council who licensed Mr Sultan at the time and we are pleased to hear that Mr Sultan has had his licence revoked. This demonstrates the benefits of having strong working partnerships with our neighbouring councils and the desire and determination we share to ensure rogue drivers are quickly dealt with.

"Residents are reminded that, unless taking a taxi from a rank, they should only get into a vehicle if they have pre-booked the journey."