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Taxi driver prosecuted for picking up passenger without a booking

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A private hire driver has been found guilty of illegally plying for hire.

Mihai-Ionut Borodea, of Wrockwardine Wood in Telford, was licensed by City of Wolverhampton Council.

He was sentenced at Telford Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to illegally collecting members of the public at Shrewsbury railway station in the early hours of December 17 last year.

The passengers had not booked through a licensed operator but instead approached the driver who had pulled up at the station and then agreed to undertake the requested journey from Shrewsbury to Broseley – an activity known as plying for hire.

As a result it was also held that Borodea’s motor insurance was invalid for the journey.

He was ordered by the court, to pay a fine and costs totalling £320 and received six penalty points on his driving licence.

Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s trading standards and licensing operations manager said: “Shropshire Council takes illegal private hire activities extremely seriously.

"Our advice to the trade is clear – private hire vehicles are not permitted to ply for hire and where we identify such cases we will investigate them fully, including cases where the driver is licensed by another local authority.

"Not only is this activity illegal it will invalidate a drivers insurance putting customers at risk.”

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Joyce Barrow, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for communities, waste and regulatory services, said: “We will continue to crack down on unsafe private hire vehicles and taxis and we encourage members of the public to report illegal activity to us.

"We can use this information to help determine the council’s enforcement priorities and activities.

"Our officers carry out vehicle and driver licensing checks across Shropshire to stamp out illegal activity and ensure the safety of the public.

"Officers work closely with the police to carry out evening patrols and undertake plying for hire operations using plain clothed officers.

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“This case has seen effective partnership working between officers from both Shropshire Council and the City of Wolverhampton Council to ensure public safety and I am confident that this will continue.”

Councillor Alan Bolshaw, chair of the City of Wolverhampton Council’s licensing committee said: “Plying for hire is a serious offence that places members of the public in danger.

"Private hire journeys must be pre-booked otherwise they may not be insured.

"City of Wolverhampton Council officers assisted Shropshire Council with their enquiries to bring about the successful prosecution.

"The driver’s private hire licence will now be reviewed by officers.”

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