Agenda item

Application for a Private Hire Driver's Licence


The applicant advised that he had brought a solicitor to represent him. The Solicitor advised of some skeleton arguments that she had prepared; the Chair asked if these could be circulated once the Officer had presented the report.


The Senior Licensing Enforcement Officer outlined the circumstances as set out in the report. He explained that the applicant had applied for a Private hire Driver’s Licence on 19th July 2019. As part of the application process, he was required to declare any previous criminal convictions. Following the submission of a DBS certificate, several convictions (including driving a vehicle with excess alcohol) were identified that had not been declared on his application. Due to the nature of the offences, the applicant was informed that his application would be referred to the Licensing Committee.


In response to questions, the Senior Licensing Enforcement Officer stated that the applicant had been using his own vehicle when charged with drunk-driving.


The applicant addressed the Committee and explained that regarding a driving offence in 2012, he was driving with a friend, on his way to another friend. His friend had received a phone call to let him know that his father had had a stroke. The applicant then drove himself and his friend to hospital, collecting his brother on the way. He advised that he was 19 years old at the time. His conviction in August 2013 was the result of himself and his friends being the subject of racial abuse which led to an altercation and subsequent arrest. The applicant’s arrest in March 2018 was related to an incident with his ex-partner; after an argument he threw a set of keys at her car which broke a door mirror; the Police were called, and the applicant was charged with criminal damage.

The applicant explained that he believed the first 2 convictions to be spent; he had not meant to deliberately mislead the Committee. Further, the criminal damage conviction resulted in a fine which the applicant did not believe needed disclosing.


At this juncture the applicant’s representative handed documents to the Solicitor who advised that they were character references and a skeleton argument. Copies of these were made and distributed amongst Members.


In response to questions, the applicant stated that his alcohol levels were .37; the limit is .35. He advised that he had felt sorry for his friend and this was his reason for driving to the airport.  The Police stopped him because he had been driving at 80mph and that was why he was charged with the offence of drink driving.

The applicant’s representative explained that the fine had been left off the application form because the form did not specifically mention fines. She further advised that the domestic situation would be very unlikely to be replicated during work as a Private Hire Driver.


The Solicitor explained to Members their options and the relevant test to be applied; whether the applicant was deemed to be a “fit and proper person” to hold a licence as a Private Hire Driver and the relevant provisions of the Council’s policy on convictions.


Members retired at 19:11 to make a decision.


The meeting reconvened at 19:27.




The Committee had carefully considered the information in the report, the representations made by and on behalf of the applicant at the hearing, the responses to the questions asked of him, the skeleton argument and the references received.


The Committee made the following findings:


A.   That there are a significant number of convictions recorded against the applicant.

B.   He had been disqualified from driving twice in a period of a little over 3 years.   

C.   Any drink driving is a serious matter regardless of the amount of alcohol in a sample.

D.   The incident in 2013 must have been quite serious considering the sentence included a curfew with an electronic tag.

E.   The offence in 2018 suggested that he had an issue with his temper and reacted the wrong way to provocation of any type. 

F.    Looking at his record as a whole and the fact that the offences had been committed within a relatively short period of time the Committee formed the view that he posed a risk to the public on two accounts:

a.    His driving record showed that he drove carelessly, breached the speed limit and drove when under the influence of alcohol; and

b.    He had twice been involved in incidents in which he reacted in the wrong way and caused fear of violence or damaged property. 

G.   On that basis and having in mind the interests of the public, the Committee were not satisfied that he was a fit and proper person to hold a licence and there was no evidence which indicated that there was good reason to depart from the Council’s Guidelines in Relation to Convictions.


Accordingly, the Committee REFUSES the application for a private hire driver’s licence.