Information on Cookies

To make the best use of our website, you'll need to make sure your web browser is set to accept cookies to ensure you receive the best experience.

For further information, please read our Cookies Policy.

Log In

Go To News
Fake taxi driver prosecuted Published Date: 04/04/2019

The driver has been prosecuted for using stickers to trick potential customers into thinking he was a licensed taxi.

Dennis Hewlett, was prosecuted by Eastleigh Borough Council when he was caught by officers from Southampton City Council and Eastleigh Borough Council working jointly on the operation.

According to local media reports, Hewlett approached the licensing officers, who picked them up and drove them to the Tesco store in Bursledon.

He was then approached by a third council worker, in another car, who followed the unlicensed vehicle.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard how he then charged the pair a fare and gave them a business card before they got out.

He failed to appear at court last week and was found guilty of illegally plying for hire in his absence.

His sentencing was adjourned until later this month to enable the council to make further enquiries.

On the same day, Eastleigh Borough Council also successfully prosecuted a licensed private hire driver who was illegally picking up passengers from a taxi rank.

Minicab driver Shaun Scott, 46, of Fleet End Road, Warsash, was caught out in a separate sting, when he agreed to drive two undercover licensing officers from near the taxi rank at Eastleigh rail station to Botley last November.

He was fined and ordered to pay costs in excess of £2,000 for the offence and for driving without valid insurance.

Scott, who was sentenced in his absence, also had eight penalty points added to his licence.

Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet Lead for Transport, Councillor David Airey, said: “These two prosecutions are an excellent result for the legal and licensing teams and are a tribute to the painstaking way they build a case.

“Unlicensed drivers are not DBS (formerly CRB) checked and have not passed the Fit and Proper Person Test that indicates their suitability for the role.

“Getting a lift in an unlicensed vehicle , or a private hire vehicle that has been plying for trade, means that passengers are not insured in the event of an accident.”