A taxi driver who preyed on a vulnerable 70-year-old passenger and extorted thousands of pounds from her has had his licence stripped by a council, magistrates and crown court judge.
Tariq Mahmood, appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 30 November after appealing a 2022 decision by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) to remove his licence.
The 50-year-old was reported to the council in 2022 for grooming a passenger, Lorna, and defrauding her of £5,000.
NWLDC’s Licensing Sub-Committee agreed on 15 March 2022 to remove Mahmood’s licence, but this decision was appealed to Leicester Magistrates Court and upheld.
Mahmood appealed again, taking the decision to crown court. Judges at the court heard that before NWLDC received a complaint from the passenger’s daughter, Mahmood had over nine years committed a large number of low-level offences including being banned from driving and road rage.
Mahmood befriended Lorna after she used his taxi and over six months accepted up to 23 payments from her totalling £5,000.
Despite claiming to judges that the payments were loans, Mahmood could not demonstrate to NWLDC, magistrates or judges that he would be able to repay the money.
Councillor Michael Wyatt, NWLDC Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change, said: “We are committed to keeping the travelling public safe, our continued defence of our 2022 decision to remove a licence because the danger the driver posed to the public is evidence of this.
“Taxi drivers are trusted to make sure the vulnerable get home safely. Everybody will have an experience of going out at night, someone getting into a bad state, the call is always “put them in a taxi, get them home safe” – taxi drivers should be trusted to do that.”