Driver fined for picking up fares without a licence

A driver using his vehicle for hire without a private hire driver’s or private hire vehicle licence has been ordered to pay over £750 in fines, costs and charges.

Mr Sean Sanpher, 47, of Birstwith Road in Harrogate, appeared at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 15 March on charges relating to driving a vehicle for private hire on 29 September 2015 without the requisite licences in place.



Mr Sanpher pleaded guilty to the two charges of driving a vehicle for hire without a driver’s licence and a vehicle licence in contrary to Local Government legislation.

In sentencing, the magistrates ordered Mr Sanpher to pay a fine of £275 in relation to driving without a vehicle licence.  The magistrates commented that they considered this to be the most serious of the offences as no application for the licence was made until after the incident in September last year.

Mr Sanpher was also ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £27 and a contribution the council’s cost of £450.

Councillor John Ennis is the chair of Harrogate Borough Council’s Licensing Committee. He said:

The checks we make on licensed drivers and vehicles are an extremely important part of our commitment to ensuring passenger safety.

This case, and others we have prosecuted, sends a clear message that we will not tolerate unlicensed vehicles of drivers putting the travelling public at risk.

I would also ask the public – especially with the Easter holidays coming up – to please err on the side of caution if you are unsure about the legitimacy of any licensed vehicle you are considering using.


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