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Taxi driver prosecuted for refusing to take a passenger’s guide dog

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Taxi driver prosecuted for refusing to take a passenger’s guide dog 22nd March 2019

A taxi driver who refused to take a passenger with a guide dog in Abingdon has been ordered to pay nearly £600 after he was successfully prosecuted by Vale of White Horse District Council.

Tahir Murad, 45, of Cullerne Close in Abingdon pleaded guilty to breaching equality legislation and was fined £300 and ordered to pay a contribution of £250 towards the prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge at a hearing at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 4 March.

The prosecution followed a complaint to the council by a man, who is registered blind, that the driver had refused to carry his assistance dog in his vehicle.

On 5 July 2018 the complainant approached Mr Murad’s Hackney carriage at the Ock Street taxi rank with his guide dog. Mr Murad gave a number of excuses why he could not take the dog and refused to take it.

However Mr Murad did not hold a certificate of exemption which would have exempted him from the requirement to carry assistance dogs.

Magistrates were also advised that Mr Murad had received disability awareness training from the council and was fully aware of the requirement to carry assistance dogs.

Mr Murad’s Hackney carriage driver licence has lapsed since the offence.

Cllr Elaine Ware, Vale of White Horse District Council cabinet member for licensing, said: “I would like to thank the complainant for making us aware of this incident. This case demonstrates that we will always look to take action against drivers who refuse to take passengers with assistance dogs without a valid reason.”

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