A taxi driver from Eastbourne has been stripped of his licence, after Hastings Magistrates upheld a decision made by Wealden District Council’s Licensing sub-committee.
Farhal Jamal from Priory Road, was banned last June, following evidence that he had harassed another taxi driver at Polegate and broken the rules in relation to the carrying of passengers.
Mr Jamal had held a licence with the Council since July 2015 and, in the 11 month period up to June 2016, he was involved in a number of incidents, resulting in complaints, two of which led to the original revocation of his taxi licence.
In dismissing his appeal against the Council’s decision, the Court found that Mr Jamal had deliberately flouted the authority’s rules, by accepting a second booking from the Polegate rank without the agreement of the passenger he had picked up from the same rank moments earlier.
It also found that he had harassed another Polegate taxi driver by making some 30-40 nuisance telephone calls, seven of which were made at a time when that driver had passengers on board his taxi. Telephone records produced to the Court showed that on a single day in March 2016 he was shown to have made a least 14 calls to one driver.
Finally, the Court found that, having made a complaint about the manner of driving and conduct of another Polegate taxi driver, an investigation conducted by the Council’s officers revealed that it was in fact Mr Jamal’s manner of driving which was dangerous and his claim of being threatened by the other driver was completely unfounded.
In upholding Wealden District Council’s original decision, the Magistrates agreed that Mr Jamal was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage and private hire drivers licence and revoked that licence. Mr Jamal was also ordered to pay £1,600 in court costs.
“This investigation was part of an ongoing attempt to improve the service provided by taxi drivers at the Polegate rank,” said Councillor Nigel Coltman, Chairman of Wealden’s Licencing Committee. “It followed complaints by both members of the public and taxi drivers themselves. A number of drivers have been sanctioned, including Mr Jamal. I am pleased that the Court upheld the original decision made by Wealden councillors and the problems at the Polegate Station taxi rank have now been resolved. Although the majority of taxi drivers behave properly, we will investigate complaints from the public, if they have any concerns about behaviour or fares.”