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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:04 pm 
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Taxi driver threw blind man and guide dog out of car in row over £2

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/cri ... -is-fined/

A taxi driver who threw a blind man and his guide dog out of his car in a row over £2 has been ordered to pay nearly £2,000.

Dudley Magistrates' Court heard that Zafar Ali left Nicholas Mills "distressed and disorientated" after ordering him and his dog Percy to get out of the taxi nearly two miles from his home.

Mr Mills, 59, who is registered blind and relies on his guide dog to get around, said he had been quoted £6 for his taxi fare home. But he told the court that Ali said after picking him up it would now be £8 due to there being a dog in the car as well.

The court heard that Ali was working as a driver for A2B Falcon Elite when he received a call on August 8, 2019, to pick up Mr Mills from the King Arthur pub in Hagley. When Mr Mills disputed the increase in fare – Ali ordered him and the dog to get out of the taxi near to Stourbridge Golf Club, an area they were unfamiliar with.

A golf club member responded to Mr Mills' calls for help and found him in a "distressed and disorientated" state – before driving him home, around two miles away.

Ali, 68, of Vicarage Road, Lye, had denied failing to carry out a booking accepted by his operator, with the reason for that failure being that the disabled person was accompanied by an assistance dog. The offence is contrary to section 170 of the Disability Act.

But he was found guilty in his absence at Dudley Magistrates Court on Friday, October 8.

Ali was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £595. He must also pay £200 compensation to Mr Mills and a £100 victim surcharge – with the total of £1,895 to paid within 28 days.

The matter will now be referred to the Taxi Licensing Committee, which will consider whether Ali is a fit and proper person to continue working as a private hire driver.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley Council's cabinet member responsible for taxi licensing, said: "This is a totally unacceptable incident.

"Ali treated a vulnerable blind man with no dignity or respect and effectively dumped him on the side of the road, in the dark, with no idea where he was or how he was to get home.

"Luckily the kindness of a passer-by who made sure Mr Mills got home safely ensured that there was not a more serious end to this story.

"There was a very real risk of the man and his dog – in the distressed and disorientated state they were in – getting seriously hurt."

She added: "The fact it was all over £2 makes it even worse – it has ended up costing Ali nearly a thousand times that and rightly so.

"A committee will now decide whether the offence is serious enough to revoke his licence, with a decision made at a later date."


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:27 pm 
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Kick him out of the trade . Money grabbing scum .


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:28 pm 
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
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£2 has been ordered to pay nearly £2,000.
:lol: :lol: :lol: =D>

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:15 pm 
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But he told the court that Ali said after picking him up it would now be £8 due to there being a dog in the car as well.

](*,)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:33 pm 
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Interesting as to what the article says he was convicted off.

Section 170 of the Equalities Act 2010.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/20 ... view=plain

In this instance the driver can't be convicted of refusal because he didn't refuse to pick up.

He can't be charged with overcharging as he isn't an operator.

And although a case could be made that he didn't fulfill the operator's booking, the reason was financial, not because of the dog.

In short I suspect the driver would have had a good case had he turned up with a half-savvy lawyer.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:14 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Interesting as to what the article says he was convicted off.

Section 170 of the Equalities Act 2010.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/20 ... view=plain

In this instance the driver can't be convicted of refusal because he didn't refuse to pick up.

Wondered about that as well, and it would represent a bit of a loophole if a driver could just quote an extortionate fare to effectively reject the job (a bit like the card payments thing at times).

But the legislation covers either a refusal or failure to carry out a booking, so presumably the scenario described amounted to a failure :-k

Anyway, for what it's worth the Birmingham Mail's version includes a bit more of a 'narrative' in the form of Mr Mills' witness statement:

Birmingham Mail wrote:
The 'aggressive' driver confirmed with a colleague there was no extra charge but continued with his demands before proclaiming 'right get out'.

He then abandoned the customer in Racecourse Lane, near the Greyhound pub.

In a witness statement, Mr Mills said he felt uncomfortable as Ali gave the impression he 'didn't like dogs', told him to stop Percy 'from looking at him' and 'moaned' about the hound throughout the journey.

He said: "As soon as my friend walked away, he opened both of the front door windows and said "stop your dog from looking at me".

"I turned Percy's head towards me. I felt that the driver was being a bit hostile and had the impression he didn't like dogs."

He added: "I was told to get out of the car. I heard the driver tell the operator on the radio that I was refusing to pay the fare which wasn't true.

"I just didn't want to pay for the guide dog. Anyway, he stopped the car at the side of the road and told me to get out of the car.

"I did as he said. The drive drove off leaving me and my dog on the side of the road.

"I had no idea where I was. I knew that my dog wasn't familiar with that area and that is a real problem.

"My sight is non-existent. I cannot see at all. I cannot see shadows. I cannot even see glimpses of light. It is total blindness. I rely totally on my dog."

Tim Holder, prosecuting on behalf of the council, told the court Mr Mills was stranded in the 'middle of nowhere'.

The court also heard Mr Mills - who was 59 at the time - did complain to the taxi company but has still had no response from bosses two years on.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:33 pm 
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Maybe he is an operator ,all PHDs in my area have to an operators license.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:25 pm 
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And the Birmingham Mail has rehashed the whole thing with a few readers' comments. So unless you want to read about lots of anonymous people saying that the driver is a very bad man and shouldn't have a licence, I wouldn't bother [-(


Taxi driver slammed for deserting blind man and guide dog in Stourbridge in £2 row

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black- ... d-21848504

People are furious that the taxi driver abandoned the blind customer


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