Polegate taxi driver loses licence over nuisance calls

Taxi rank at Polegate railway Station (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160707-002222008
Taxi rank at Polegate railway Station (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160707-002222008

A Polegate taxi driver who had his licence revoked after making nuisance phone calls has lost a legal challenge against Wealden District Council.

Former taxi-driver Farhad Jamal of Priory Road, Eastbourne, had his licence revoked by the council last June following a series of complaints about his conduct. They included claims he had made more than 30 nuisance calls to another driver.

Jamal, who worked out of Polegate Station taxi rank, launched a legal challenge, but – after a hearing on Friday, February 10 – Hastings Magistrates upheld the decision, originally made by the councillors on Wealden’s licencing sub-committee.

The council says the court agreed that Jamal was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a licence, upheld the decision and ordered him to pay £1,600 in costs.

Responding to the ruling, the chairman of the licencing committee, Cllr Nigel Coltman said: “This investigation was part of an ongoing attempt to improve the service provided by taxi drivers at the Polegate rank.

“It followed complaints by both members of the public and taxi drivers themselves. A number of drivers have been sanctioned, including Mr Jamal.

“I am pleased that the Court upheld the original decision made by Wealden councillors and the problems at the Polegate Station taxi rank have now been resolved.

“Although the majority of taxi drivers behave properly, we will investigate complaints from the public, if they have any concerns about behaviour or fares.”

The council says Jamal, who had held a licence with the council between July 2015 and June 2016, was involved in a number of incidents in his time as a licenced driver. Evidence of these incidents was presented at the court hearing, the council says.

A spokesman for Wealden District Council said: “The court found that Mr Jamal had deliberately flouted the council’s rules by accepting a second booking from the Polegate rank, without the agreement of the passenger he had picked up from the same rank moments earlier.

“It also found he had harassed another Polegate taxi driver by making some 30 to 40 nuisance telephone calls, seven of which were made at a time when that driver had passengers on board his taxi.

“Telephone records produced to the court showed that on a single day in March 2016 he was shown to have made a least 14 calls to one driver.”

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