Taxi driver Mr Muhammad Asif Farid has been left with a court bill of £690 after being found guilty of plying for hire when he did not have a hackney carriage vehicle licence.

Mr Farid ,40, of Molineux Street, Derby, was spotted by off-duty Erewash Borough Council licensing officers when he was in his vehicle waiting in the taxi rank at Ilkeston Market Place in March last year.

Mr Farid pleaded not guilty to the offence but was convicted by a bench of three magistrates at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court on Thursday 30 January.

The court was told that he had not submitted his renewal application and supporting documentation before the expiry of his hackney carriage vehicle licence on 24 February 2019. His vehicle had failed the council’s depot inspection and was deemed unsafe to drive. He required a re-test once the work had been carried out.

The next available date for the re-test was 5 March, but he was seen in the Ilkeston rank on 1 March and was told by the licensing officers that he had no licence and should leave the queue, which he did.

Councillor Garry Hickton, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Environment, says:

“Licensing rules are there for a reason and we take any breach seriously. We require the highest standards from taxi drivers in the borough and on this occasion Mr Farid did not meet them. It should serve as a warning that we will always take action.”

Mr Farid, who is now properly licensed, was fined £100 for the offence and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 and pay the council’s full costs of £560, making a total of £690.