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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:51 am 
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An odd tale here.


Helensburgh cabbie 'losing business' after Faslane fare row

https://www.helensburghadvertiser.co.uk ... -fare-row/

A HELENSBURGH taxi driver claims his livelihood is “being destroyed” over reports of the cost of a taxi journey from Helensburgh to Faslane.

James Scott contacted the Advertiser in response to a report in our July 18 edition on a former Navy man, David Smith, who was kicked out of the service after assaulting police officers and a paramedic in an incident near the base on November 24 last year.

Smith pleaded guilty to three charges of assault and one of threatening or abusive behaviour following an investigation of the incident, which happened after he took a taxi, driven by Mr Scott, from the centre of the town to the naval base.

At Dumbarton Sheriff Court on July 12, Smith was ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work within nine months as a punishment, and was put under social workers’ supervision for a year.

However, the Crown dropped one further charge against Smith, in which he was originally accused of failing to pay a £55 taxi fare to get to the base from Helensburgh.

And though the terms of that dropped charge were reported fully and accurately in the Advertiser, Mr Scott says the wording of the charge doesn’t tell the full story.

Mr Scott, who was not identified in our July 18 report, says that the standard fare from West Clyde Street to Faslane, under the tariff which was in operation at the time of the incident, is actually £15.

He said: “I’m having members of the public, and other taxi drivers, wanting to know why I’m charging £55 to take somebody from the town to the base, and I’m not.

“I took the guy from East Clyde Street to the base, which would have cost £15, but when we got there he didn’t have any money to pay for the journey.

“I brought him back to Helensburgh, which is another £15, and he ran up another £10 in ‘waiting time’ while he went to a cash machine.

“Then I took him back to the base again, costing £15. That’s where the £55 total comes from.

“I’ve lost a lot of business out of these rumours. People are not coming into my taxi, and I’m being persecuted for something I didn’t do.”

But regardless of the total cost of the trip, and Smith’s not guilty plea, Mr Scott says he was never paid the cost of the journey after the third leg of the trip – which ended when Smith tumbled out of the taxi and lay motionless at the side of the road before police, and later paramedics, went to his aid.

Smith spat in the eye of one of the police officers and, while being taken to hospital, struck one of the paramedics in the face with his knee - sparking his arrest, charge and subsequent court case, and then to his being discharged from the Navy after three and a half years’ military service.

Mr Scott also told the Advertiser of his anger at the Ministry of Defence Police – whose officers, he claims, promised him shortly after the trip that he would be refunded the £55.

“One MoD Police officer told me ‘don’t worry, you’ll get your money back’,” Mr Scott continued.

“But when I contacted the MoD Police to ask about it later, I was told ‘oh, we don’t really do that, and whoever told you that was wrong’.

“I feel as if I’ve been let down despite trying to help the police.

“I’m an honest, hard-working, church-going guy, and I feel I’ve had a raw deal from every side.”

An MoD Police spokesperson said it would not be common practice for the Ministry of Defence to cover the private taxi fares of off-duty personnel, but said that without more detailed information on the incident it was not possible to comment further.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:59 am 
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Quote:
However, the Crown dropped one further charge against Smith, in which he was originally accused of failing to pay a £55 taxi fare to get to the base from Helensburgh.

And though the terms of that dropped charge were reported fully and accurately in the Advertiser, Mr Scott says the wording of the charge doesn’t tell the full story.


Funny thing is that the report from a couple of weeks earlier doesn't actually mention the amount of the fare (see highlighted part of report below) and simply says that the fare was unpaid. Of course, the paper version of the article could have stated the £55 figure and/or the online version could have been corrected to exclude the actual amount.

Quote:
Mr Scott, who was not identified in our July 18 report, says that the standard fare from West Clyde Street to Faslane, under the tariff which was in operation at the time of the incident, is actually £15.

He said: “I’m having members of the public, and other taxi drivers, wanting to know why I’m charging £55 to take somebody from the town to the base, and I’m not.

“I took the guy from East Clyde Street to the base, which would have cost £15, but when we got there he didn’t have any money to pay for the journey.

“I brought him back to Helensburgh, which is another £15, and he ran up another £10 in ‘waiting time’ while he went to a cash machine.

“Then I took him back to the base again, costing £15. That’s where the £55 total comes from.


But if that was a metered HC fare then it wouldn't be a case of £15 x 3 because of the way the flagfall works. If the meter was kept running then there would be a couple of pounds or so off the second and third legs.

And looks like £10 waiting time in the area would be about half an hour, which seems a long time to get cash out of an ATM :shock:

Of course, there could have been a lot of fannying around, but the figures he quotes just seem a bit too neat and tidy to me.

And to claim that his livelihood is being 'destroyed' because of a newspaper report in which he wasn't even named seems a bit far-fetched as well [-(


Navy man kicked out after assaulting police and paramedic

https://www.helensburghadvertiser.co.uk ... paramedic/

A ROYAL Navy sailor was discharged from the service after spitting on two police officers and kicking a paramedic on the head, a court has heard.

David Smith reacted angrily after the emergency services went to his aid when he was seen falling out of a taxi near Faslane's south gate and lying unconscious next to the road.

The 32-year-old appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court for sentencing on Friday after pleading guilty to three charges of assault and one count of threatening or abusive behaviour as a result of the incident, which happened on November 24 last year.

The Crown accepted a plea of not guilty to a further charge against Smith alleging that he had failed to pay a taxi fare from West Clyde Street in Helensburgh to Faslane.

Gemma McKechnie, prosecuting, told the court: "It was just after midnight when a taxi driver picked up the accused, who asked to take him to HM Naval Base Clyde.

"Just before one o'clock, police carrying out duties around the base observed the accused leaving a taxi and then lying motionless at the side of the road.

"Further police were called to attend and administered first aid. The accused regained consciousness and began acting aggressively towards the witnesses.

"He began shouting and swearing and kicking out at a turnstile at the south gate.

"He was handcuffed but resisted officers' attempts to arrest him by pulling his arms away, and then struck a metal pole with his head.

"Paramedics were called. He stated he was going to kill himself.

"He struck a metal cabinet with his head, and had to be restrained to be examined. At this point he spat on the police witnesses, striking one of the in the eye.

"On a journey to the Royal Alexandra Hospital he struck a paramedic in the face with his knee, causing the witness's glasses to break."

Smith's solicitor, Alan Murdoch, said: "He is totally remorseful towards all the victims. It's completely out of character for him. He has never been in trouble with the police before.

"He fell out of the taxi and banged his head while it was still moving."

Mr Murdoch told Sheriff John Hamilton: "He lost his job after three and a half years' military service as a result of this incident and is willing to accept any punishment you deem necessary."

Sheriff Hamilton told Smith: "This was a shameful display of behaviour.

"I accept there were some extraneous circumstances that made life difficult at the time, but I hope Mr Murdoch is correct that you are remorseful – listening to what the fiscal has said, it was a despicable course of conduct, fuelled by drink.

"You have been discharged from the Royal Navy, unsurprisingly, because of your conduct.

"If any of those factors had been missing the likelihood is you would have been going to jail for this."

Instead of a prison sentence, Smith, of Cramwell Road in Liverpool, was handed a community payback order which will see him supervised by social workers for 12 months.

He was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid community work – reduced from the maximum of 300 because of his guilty pleas – by April next year.

Sheriff Hamilton warned him: "If you fail to comply with any aspect of this order you can be brought back to court, and the court can impose any punishment which would have been competent today – and in your case, that will almost inevitably mean custody."


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:10 pm 
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And to claim that his livelihood is being 'destroyed' because of a newspaper report in which he wasn't even named seems a bit far-fetched as well [-(

And by reporting it all again he is prolonging the story.

He would have been better going through the small claims court.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:03 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
And to claim that his livelihood is being 'destroyed' because of a newspaper report in which he wasn't even named seems a bit far-fetched as well [-(

And by reporting it all again he is prolonging the story.

He would have been better going through the small claims court.


Suspect that when the MoD police said that he would get his money back no problem then he didn't hold back in specifying the amount of the fare.

If it had been me and a genuine misunderstanding then doubt I'd charge the full amount (for a start, the second leg I'd probably be coming back empty anyway), but then I'm generous like that :lol:

Of course, it's likely that the passenger wasn't exactly all sweetness and light as regards payment etc, and the driver would have presumably had to hang around for a while while the passenger was dealt with by police, so who knows?

But, as you imply, like the chap in Stoke I suspect going to the press about it has maybe just made things worse.


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