Banbury man convicted over lies

A convict, with a history of assault on a school child, has been fined for lying in his application for a taxi licence.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 9:35 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 10:35 am
Police news

On Monday, October 21, Abdul Ghafoor of Grimsbury Square, Banbury pleaded guilty of making a false statement under The Local Government Act 1976.

Having failed to disclose his criminal record when applying for a taxi licence, he was ordered to pay £1,240, including a £400 fine and £800 of costs.

In 2014, Ghafoor had had his taxi licence revoked for assaulting a school child in his taxi. He reapplied in 2016 and his application was denied because of a history which included two counts of dangerous driving and the assault by beating.

When, in April 2019, he submitted a fresh licence application, he stated that he had no prior convictions. But an investigation swiftly led to suspicions that he was making a false statement.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s executive member with responsibility for licensing, said: “Passenger safety is our paramount concern when it comes to the licensing of taxi drivers. We work to make sure anyone and everyone who holds a taxi driver is a fit and proper person.

“Our officers have thorough knowledge of what occurs on their patch. Anyone who thinks they can get away with withholding a criminal past from them will find they have another thing coming – as this conviction proves.

“Cherwell takes safeguarding of the population very seriously and we will continue to work to ensure that our taxi drivers operate to the highest standards.”

Council policy requires that anyone wanting to drive a private hire vehicle or Hackney carriage in the district completes mandatory safeguarding training, a fit and proper person check and a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

The council refuses any application from people convicted of the most serious offences and requires proof of ten years of good behaviour for those with spent convictions for minor offences.