Friday, 17 August 2018

Private Hire driver Allowed To Keep Licence Despite Previously Being Jailed For Child Sex Abuse.


A Private Hire driver has been  allowed to keep his licence and job despite previously being jailed for child abuse.
Sandwell councillors allowed the minicab driver to continue driving despite guidelines saying people convicted of sex offences be barred
Jailed for sexually assaulting a child he’s been allowed to continue working by councillors at a meeting held behind closed doors.
Sandwell councillors allowed the unnamed man to continue driving despite guidelines recommending people convicted of sex offences be barred from holding a private hire licence.
Members of the licensing sub committee made the decision at its meeting in July from which the public and press were excluded.
Minutes of the meeting released this week only refer to the driver as 'Mr S G' and exclude any information which identifies him.
The secrecy surrounding the decision has been criticised by the Chairman of the West Midlands Private Hire Drivers Association, who called for committees to be open to the public.
The conviction for sexual assault was revealed when councillors reviewed Mr S G's license.
They were told that in November 1999, he was convicted of indecent assault on a female under 14 and was jailed for three months by Warley Magistrates .

Speaking at the committee, Mr S G said he was at a fun fair and had sat next to a young girl.
Denying he touched her, he said the child reported him to the police and he was charged.
After adjourning to take legal advice, councillors decided to allow him to keep his PH licence and: "Warn Mr S G in respect of his conduct and the effect any further problems may have on his licence."
The minutes also show the committee's decision to depart from guidelines on sexual offences, was: "Due to the length of time that had lapsed since the conviction, his good driving record and good character."
"Mr S G had held a licence for 12 years and had not received any further convictions."
But Raheel Shah, Chairman of the West Midlands Private Hire Drivers Association, has criticised the decision and the secrecy surrounding it.
"No one with a conviction for sexual assault should be given a Taxi or Private Hire licence, " he said.
"I think meetings of this kind should be open so the public can see what is going on."
In a statement to the LDRS, Sandwell council admitted it knew of Mr S.G's conviction when they originally issued him a licence in 2007.

Explaining it's July decision, a spokesman said: "Sandwell's private hire and hackney carriage licensing policy, introduced in October 2017,requires existing licence holders who committed a serious offence in the past who have been previously licensed by the Committee or officers or Court to appear before the Committee to consider whether or not their licence should be revoked.
"The Licensing Committee will consider each case on its merits and take into account the length of time that has elapsed since the conviction and the drivers conduct and the length of time the licence holder has held a licence."
"The public and press are excluded from the hearing of individual cases. This is to avoid the possible disclosure of exempt information under Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, relating to an individual and or information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime."

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
This is similar to the “killer on the Knowledge” case were TfL allowed Shamsul Haque, who murdered his wife and assaulted his daughter, to become a Private Hire Driver and also sign on to the Knowledge program to become a licensed Taxi driver. 


After two mass demonstrations outside Penton Street, the man was thrown off the Knowledge and had his PH licence revoked. 
It also heralded the exit from TfLTPH of many directors and managerial staff at that time, and rightly so. 


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